Saturday, February 5, 2011

Toronto Raptor Game - What an experience

I was lucky enough to score 4 tickets to last nights Raptor/Timberwolves game at the ACC.  What a different experience than a Leaf game.  First of all, I'm a huge Toronto sports fan.  Raps were in the midst of a 13 game winless streak (nice way of saying 13 losses in a row)

Minnesota ranks just below Cleveland in term of inept play.  You would think the arena would be half empty and the fans would be sitting on their hands.  Well think again.

The Raptor management and Toronto press have not really set high expectations for this year's team.  Injuries continue to plague the team and last night we were without Leandro Barbosa, the Brazilian Blur and Jerome Bayless. 

The crowd for a Raptor games is much different than a Leaf game.  Many more females, much younger crowd in general and fans are appreciative of the effort the team puts forth.  You would think a 13 game losing streak would create some unrest in the crowd - frankly it seemed the opposite.  Not once did I hear a boo from the crowd directed toward the Raps ( a few directed at the referees as they called significantly more fouls on the Raps)

The Raptor dance pack does a great job of energizing the building.  The team is showcasing the dance pack more and having fewer goofy time out games involving selected participants from the crowd.  I've said this before and I'll say it again  - the Raptor is the best mascot in sports.  Both funny and athletic and fan friendly, the Raptor is the best.

In terms of the game, Demar DeRozan was almost flawless from the floor and put up a quiet 20 points on predominantly outside shots.  Andrea clearly was the center of attention for the Raps offense and put up 30 on 26 shots.  I can't believe Minnesota kept falling for his fake shot then fake drive and shot.  Andrea is not going to drive much.

Amir Johnson got into early foul trouble but came back in midway through the second quarter and stayed out of trouble for the rest of the game.  Jose Calderon tied a club record with 19 assists but struggled with a couple of outside shots that would have been daggers for the Wolves.

I thought one of the key moments in the game was the last 4 minutes of Q3 when Jose and Andrea were out of the game and we had a six point lead.  With 10 day man Tre Johnson at the point position, we were able to maintain our lead going into Q4 when the starters came back into the game.

Nice night out - great job by the Raps and their organization to entertain the crowd. 

Demar - keep on driving the ball

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