A normal feeling for the Raptors in San Antonio; not a “must win” but one they needed
First time for everything, I guess.
Writing about a game in San Antonio watching on Mr. Koreen’s laptop from a lobby bar in Phoenix because that was the place with truly reliable wireless is not conducive to tremendous work so my apologies for that. We’ll be better the rest of the trip and, truly, a pox on the Houses of Baseball because Gregor couldn’t bail me out because he had to make sense of that nonsense.
Anyway, it was a pretty solid game by the locals, particularly the second half, and it was a critical win but it had to be a most welcome one.
There were these points, in retrospect.
Seeing Fred VanVleet come out for rest in the first quarter was a bit jarring but they did survive it.
What has happened basically all season was that he’d play the entire 12 minutes, rest for three or four to start the second and then finish out the half.
Maybe it was his game-speed conditioning, maybe it was being cautious with his knee, maybe it was Nick forgetting what he’s done all season but it felt right.
VanVleet ended up only playing 34 minutes – a relative night off for him – and looked really good.
Felt it, too.
As we mentioned in the game story, he got off to a blistering start, even if his three-ball wasn’t falling, and then settled into Smart Fred Mode.
“Obviously I came out really aggressive, just trying to find my rhythm again after being out for a few days, so, had some success early and then the second half, as they started blitzing and showing more attention, just playing off the ball more (with) Pascal and Scottie creating, and just trying to give different looks and keep the defence on their toes,” he said.
It was nice to see him back leading the team and you gotta admit, they looked far more Raptor-like.
But he had help …