Retire Kawhi’s jersey? FOOH! | FVV next up | New VC’s are throwback fire
Host William Lou is joined by Josh Hart and Joe Wolfond to pass the hours in the dead of summer.
- 2019-2020 regular season schedule highlights
- Is Fred VanVleet on the brink of a breakout season?
- How does the starting lineup shake out?
- How can the Raptors help Pascal Siakam’s development?
- Checking in on Delon Wright and Danny Green
- Raptors picked fifth in East by ESPN projections
A follow-up to the release of the “Metallic Silver” Nike Shox BB4, Nike will deliver another throwback colorway of the basketball sneaker made famous by Vince Carter during his heyday with the Toronto Raptors.
This Shox BB4 will feature a white leather-based upper, with a faint graphic running along the sides that resembles a fierce raptor’s claw marks. Additional details include the tongue and heel tab donning the Raptors’ team colors with a purple, red, and black stripe. Capping off the look are hits of metallic silver and purple covering the bouncy Shox tech at the heel.
The Nike Shox BB4 QS “Toronto Raptors” is scheduled to release on Aug. 25 at select Nike Basketball stockists. Retail pricing is set at $170.
14 TORONTO RAPTORS
Projected (44-38) 86% chance at playoffs
DeMar DeRozan was the sacrificial lamb necessary to attain a championship, and I don’t think a single Raptors fan regrets it. But now we must see what this roster can achieve without DeRozan or Kawhi to steer the ship. Pascal Siakam’s emergence and a host of talented role players will ensure this team remains good enough to make the playoffs in a weak East, but their ceiling no longer appears contender-worthy.
Best move: Picking up cheap reclamation projects
Worst move: Signing Cam Payne
But twice upon a time, it could be argued Victoria was the centre of Canada’s basketball universe — in the 1930s and 1940s, when the Blue Ribbons and Dominoes won five Canadian senior mens championships, and in the 1980s and 1990s when the UVic Vikings dominated the Canadian university basketball scene with 16 titles equally shared by the men’s and women’s teams.
In the 1930s and ’40s, Victoria players didn’t have exotic names such as Kawhi Leonard, Pascal Siakam, Malachi Richardson, Delon Wright, OG Anunoby, Serge Ibaka or Raptor general manager Masai Ujiri. They had ordinary names like Norm Baker, Art Chapman Chuck Chapman, Doug Peden and Muzz Patrick.
There were great teams playing in venues such as the Trades and Harbour Hall on Broad Street under the auspices of the James Bay Athletic Association, the YMCA, then at Blanshard and View streets, the Bay Street Armouries, upstairs in the old Duck Block on Broad Street, the First United Church and what is now called the Roper Gym at Victoria High School.
In a history written by the Victoria and District Basketball Association, it recalled a team named the Huskies winning the 1908 Pacific Coast championship using the former Motor Vehicle Branch office building on Menzies Street as its home court. Reportedly, as many as 2,500 fans crammed into the red brick structure to watch a game.
The sport was invented in 1891 by James Naismith, born in Almonte, Ont. Five years later, two Victoria teams began playing the sport, the Swifts and the Wasps.
For example, the team that ran the Raptors closer to elimination than any other team: the Philadelphia 76ers. On paper, the Sixers had the best starting line-up in the NBA last season.
A team that possesses a starting line-up of Ben Simmons, J.J. Redick, Jimmy Butler, Tobias Harris, and Joel Embiid is destined for greater things. Five extremely talented individuals stuck together in an attempt to win a title. Talent-wise, they had all the boxes checked.
The fit just never felt right, though. Ben Simmons, the often-compared heir to the throne of LeBron James, often felt like a passenger in the series, plonked in the dunker spot underneath the rim.
As a three-point shooting team, there wasn’t a lot of value, either. J.J. Redick was the only true floor-spacer on the team but the Sixers, thanks to pure talent and some nice adjustments from Brett Brown, took the Raptors to seven grueling games.
Matched up in talent, the Sixers definitely had the edge of the Raptors starting lineup. The Raptors had the fit, though. Every player on the team knew their assignment and their overall worth to the team.
From Kawhi Leonard being the team’s primary scorer to Marc Gasol and his incredible interior defense and passing, each player’s fit was highlighted by the fact that they meshed so well with everyone else on the team.
The Raptors offense was deemed to have two fully functional, but entirely separate, regiments to it in the first half of the season. There was the offense, and then there was Kawhi Leonard, a whole other entity.
Initially, the fit seemed to raise concerns on whether or not Leonard could mesh into the Raptors pace-and-space style of game. Those concerns were eradicated early in the playoffs.
Leonard seamlessly slid into the Raptors style of play while still being able to rely on the isolation-heavy style of play that made his playoff run so incredible.
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