Different mood around the Raptors this time around

Different mood around the Raptors this time around

So here the Raptors are again, down 1-0 in the first round of the playoffs after a somewhat disappointing performance right out of the gate and it’s forever thus for the locals.

Except maybe this time it’s different?

Not that there isn’t cause for a wee bit of concern going into tomorrow night but there did seem to be more of a sense of calm and resoluteness around the team yesterday than there perhaps has been in years past.

As we wrote, it’s not that they played terribly on Saturday, they just didn’t play well enough for long enough and not only do they realize that, they know they have the talent to correct it.

A long time ago, like very early in the season, someone with a very acute knowledge of how this team operates now and how it’s operated historically made a very interesting point to me in a private conversation.

With this team, he said, there’s not much drama, things seem to be more calm when they go bad; in the past, it wasn’t that there was panic, but there were wild emotional swings that don’t do anyone any good.

They tended to get too high when things were going well, tended to get to low when things were going poorly and that’s not the right combination for extended success.

This team feels a wee bit difference. Oh, no one’s pleased with the predicament in which they find themselves, it’d be ridiculous to suggest that.

But no one is over-reacting, either. No one thinks Kyle Lowry will never make a shot, no one thinks they can’t find a way to get D.J. Augustin under control. They did a great job on Nikola Vucevic for most of Saturday and it’s not like the Magic have a team capable of going off for 130 points on any second night.

Being down 1-0 is certainly not a desireable position to be in and there’s a ton of pressure on Tuesday’s game but there does seem to be the right kind of mood hovering over this team, a bit of a change from other years.


I have no idea what kind of suspension the Kadri fellow of the pucks going to get today, I’ve read everything from five games to 10 and I understand it will be a blow – perhaps crippling – to the team’s chances of getting past the Bostons.

I saw the play in question, it was brutal and premeditated and absolutely unnecessary and violent and recidivist and, frankly, idiotic.

I get “heat of the moment” reactions as well as the next guy and understand snapping.

But I also well understand the need for composure and maturity and if you’re a good young team on the rise as the Leafs seem to be, I think you have to wondering if the talent is worth it compared to the costs a temper exacts at the absolute worst time of the year.


And what’s that, you ask?

More idle thoughts and cool links and mail you might have missed, all free and and I promise you, it’s worth every penny.


Even this morning, I’m still trying to process that Tiger Woods win in the Masters yesterday and it’s not easy. Not easy at all.

As a sports story, I’m trying to thing of one that’s better in the last several years, or maybe generations.

We’re talking about a middle-age guy coming back from multiple back surgeries to play a game that puts all kinds of stress on backs and knees and winning under the most difficult of circumstances.

Golf is entirely unique in that it really is just you. No one’s passing you a ball or puck and your success or failure does not depend on anyone else. No one’s hitting the ball back at you like in tennis and, yeah, some other guy might make a gaggle of birdies and crazy good shots but you truly control your own destiny like in very, very few sports.

In that regard, his win was phenomenal and one they’ll be talking about for generations to come. Maybe it didn’t come on the toughest of courses nor against the deepest of fields by it was the Masters and it’s a major and that’s enough.

And, yeah, the hugs with his kids and his mom and the juxtaposition of the years-ago hug with his dad were emotional and lovely and a good capper to the weekend.

But for some reason, it didn’t get me as much as it did to others.

The story, the athletic part of the story, is wonderful. Multiple surgeries, the usual ravages of age, the improvement of the overall competition and winning a major is magical.

The other history, using people, disappointing loved ones and family, the enablers and apologists who surrounded him, the lives he decimate and maybe ruined and discarded because he could kind of got to me, too.
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