NBA Final Fantasy Bowl: Raptors Over Kings

So as Donnie Walsh would say, “Congratulations, you did something you never did before.” In the blink of an eye, Sam Presti lost a lot of leverage in the Raptors-Kings deal, and you know…

NBA Final Fantasy Bowl: Raptors Over Kings

So as Donnie Walsh would say, “Congratulations, you did something you never did before.”

In the blink of an eye, Sam Presti lost a lot of leverage in the Raptors-Kings deal, and you know what? He didn’t mind.

With the emergence of a stubborn Kyle Lowry Thursday night (actually, with the emergence of the Raptors), Samuel Dalembert going AWOL, and DeMarcus Cousins not trying hard enough, it was a three-point, second-half Raptors blowout that will earn the asterisk – and eventually the Supreme Court.

Thanks to DeMar DeRozan and his 22 points, and no, he did not flip off the press, he did help the Raptors stay in the playoff hunt, despite shooting .263 from the field.

“They beat us on every which way,” Cousins said. “They held us to 37 percent and we had great shot attempts. We just didn’t make shots. Tonight, we just didn’t play well.”

But, as I’ve said before, I think it’s hard to imagine John Calipari will ever watch an NBA game again.

It took just 2:28 to get to 7-for-20 shooting, 4-for-11 from 3-point range. Sacramento went from grabbing a 66-49 lead with 6:30 left in the first half to watching as Lowry hit a stepback jumper, DeRozan hit a trey and Lowry made a play-call steal, opened the game to the bench with a short bank shot in the transition and knifed to the rim.

Smart moves, for everyone, but those two point guards might have only one degree of separation from Saunders – because Lowry is, like Saunders, a player with a unique offensive skill set. The point guards flashed their moxie again and again in the first half, both completing well-executed 2-on-1 fastbreaks against the Kings.

Lowry’s play may not go down as one of the most special performances in Raptors history, but it was awfully special to the Raptors Thursday night.

THE DESPERATE SACRAMENTO KINGS

I don’t know if they realize it, but Thursday night the Sacramento Kings showed the entire league how to win a game.

And after DeMarcus Cousins drew a questionable foul on Kyrie Irving, Brandon Rush hit both of his second-half free throws and Rudy Gay came off the bench to seal the victory, the Kings showed that the Kings are finally ready to live up to their billing as the worst team in the Western Conference.

It’s time for the rest of the league to wake up and realize: The Kings, at least on Thursday night, weren’t so bad.

And for the record, the Kings couldn’t come close to beating Toronto a few weeks ago (they won by a combined 31 points then). But, in the game of the night, it really doesn’t matter.

Trevor Ariza and Jarrett Jack really controlled the tempo in the first half, but after a cold start to the second half, they lost the spirit, quieted down and watched as Lowry and DeRozan took over.

Part of why the Raptors so thoroughly embarrassed the Kings on Thursday night might just be because it’s shown the NBA that the Kings aren’t so bad.

“They have some talent and they play hard for 48 minutes,” Lowry said of the Kings. “But we know that coming into the game. We were just playing the play. If we were at home, we might have had a chance. But we came out and just played our game.”

THE ESPN RESET

ESPN wasn’t kidding when they released their schedule update on Thursday.

Game 1, Friday, 7:30, Orlando Magic vs. New York Knicks

Game 2, Sunday, 12:30, Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Charlotte Bobcats

HOF CLASSIC

The list of celebrities at the HOF induction has gotten very long, so I won’t waste my time trying to make sense of the truth that it was bound to happen.

But don’t worry, we’re assured that there will be no security problem at the induction ceremony.

Still, don’t forget that Saturday night’s affair is a little bit different from the Joneses Hall of Fame induction ceremony that was held last year. For one thing, the Joneses probably weren’t as nervous as the history nerds that were picked for the Wallabies starting roster this year.

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