BASKETBALL — 25 January 2013

DeMar DeRozan has always been a player to show up the the gym and work hard. Being on the Toronto Raptors doesn’t always help you with the ref’s either. A player who has yet to gain the respect of the officials as he puts in his work to solidify himself as the player that warranted the 4 year contract extension given to him earlier this year. Many people criticized this decision and others supported it mainly for the fact that the Toronto Raptors were “Protecting” and asset by signing DeRozan to a contract. When in reality Bryan Colangelo hasn’t been given enough credit and is widely believed to be on the chopping block should the Raptors not have a successful season.

It’s a crazy notion to think about once you start to see players like Ed Davis who many were never too big on until this season. A lot of I believe has to do with a leg injury in his first season and having to adjust to a shortened condensed schedule last year. Now that everything has settled and the injuries to Bargnani and Valanciunas, Ed Davis and other players have been given more possessions and opportunity to show what they can do. The team has been on an impressive streak of late regardless of wins or losses. Every game they come out and are competitive, the young talent is getting the opportunity to develop and this team is starting to show that chemistry. They just beat the Los Angeles Lakers at home and took the Miami Heat to Overtime in a game they let slip from their hands.

On Thursday night DeMar DeRozan hit a game winner over the Orlando Magic defenders to lift the Raptors over the Magic 97-95. The first thought that came to my mind… “We never hit those!” (Thinking about Vince Carter vs The 76ers 3 pointer for the win).  Turns out the Toronto Raptors haven’t hit a game winning shot since TJ Ford against the Clippers in 2006, at least until last night! A season that many fans were already looking to lottery to hope that the Raptors finish top 3 so they don’t need to relinquish the pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder… Ya that’s right the Raptors pick is protected but we traded it to Houston for Kyle Lowry, who then in turn traded it to OKC for James Harden. In the long run it was a good trade for the Raptors who have Jose Calderon’s contract expiring at the end of the season. If Jose were to walk and we didn’t have Lowry on our roster we would be in a desperate need of a quality point guard.

The future looks bright for the Toronto Raptors who are growing into a gritty team that can win against anyone on any given night. Sometimes you have to get low, real low, to value the highs! As a Raptors fan I’m enjoying the roller coaster ride. Take a look at DeMar DeRozan’s game winner last night!

 

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I work at Elite Sports Tours! I love sports and my job! Follow me on Twitter @timmacdonell and be sure to check out our website www.elitesportstours.ca for tickets and sports travel packages.

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