I once watched a tug-of-war (not for life-or-death stakes) at summer camp. It was a random drawing for our section to decide the teams, but fate had a sense of humour. The strongest campers, one after another, joined forces on one side of the rope. Very shortly after the game started, one team was dragged across the ground, flailing and grasping.
The Toronto Raptors and Cairns Taipains offered a committed recreation of that moment on Sunday evening. It wasn’t fair, and it wasn’t fate that put all the best players together on the same team, but a much more complex history of capitalism that ended up in this contest. And indeed, the Raptors built a very, very rapid 11-0 lead before relaxing into first gear and cruising to an easy victory. The talent was simply overwhelming.
So what can we take away from such an unfair contest?
For one, Scottie Barnes’ jumper was smooth and easy. He showed off a quick release and easy stroke in hitting 2-of-3 from deep. Don’t expect this to mean he’ll all of a sudden have solved one of the biggest holes in his game. (Although he made headway in the other major hole in Toronto’s first preseason game.) But everything else aside -- turnovers, sloppiness, whatever -- Barnes has shown improvement in the only areas that mattered this preseason. That’s fun.