The Raptors found themselves on the other side of ball Tuesday evening, and it couldn’t have come at a more crucial time. With their fan base losing faith in the rebuilding process, the team’s eighteen-point victory against the Nets was undoubtedly a welcome change. The Raps can credit the road-win to poor shot selection, untimely turnovers and a general inability to compete. Only this time it wasn’t them making the mistakes. It was their opponent, and more importantly ex-Raptor Vince Carter who kept coming up short.
Following an MVP-type month, Vince showed his new supporters why they were able to acquire him at such a discounted price. The reason being: Carter’s continued inability to show up for the BIG game. Not to take away from his high-flying exploits of late, however it was pleasant to see Vince contributing so strongly to a Raptor victory. It was something he had not done for quite a long time. He played with both dedication and commitment, missing shot upon shot, and leaving Raptor fans eternally grateful. His twenty-two points masked a performance that was equally as embarrassing as his final days with our team.
The crucial divisional win is outweighed in importance to the moral victory of our city over the once beloved Air Canada – a superstar who has been forever vilified by Toronto fans. In the final minutes and with the game out of reach, VC left the floor on the verge of tears. It is a look we had grown so accustomed to over the past several seasons.
With the NBA trade deadline falling tomorrow at 3PM, it is quite possible that Jalen Rose’s final game for Toronto may have been his finest. The Raptor forward out-scored, out-defended, and all-around outplayed his former teammate in the 100-82 victory.
Carter, Rose and other Raptor players downplayed the game’s magnitude, citing it merely an important divisional match-up. Jalen in-fact praised VC at the game’s conclusion. He went as far to suggest that the Raptors retire his jersey, arguing that he is the most adored athlete in our city’s history. Torontoist suggests Jalen waits too see how fans will receive Vinsanity when his Nets come to town April 15.
In an unrelated but parallel story, TSN’s Off-the-Record host Michael Landsberg failed to “bring it” yet again Tuesday afternoon. His pseudo-celebrity panels continuously fail to offer what is crucial to stimulating sports discussions. By that we are referring to stimulating sports discussions. Perhaps Torontoist would be able to liven things up? Drop Michael a line if you agree, requesting that Adrian the Adorable Sports writer join Off the Record.