LOS ANGELES – Cowie Leonard faced the match against Los Angeles Clippers because of his painfully right shoulder, announced before the raptors take the floor at Staples Center against LA's other team.
Maybe he just wanted to take everything in a busy night with all the plots and sub-plots. I can not blame him. This meant that for the second time when raptors visited Leonard's hometown and the homes of the two teams he's so often associated with when he leaves for a free agency next summer, Leonard does not play. It was a trauma to the ankle when the raptors were here to face the Lakers. According to the Rappers coach, Nick Neurs Leonard has hurt his thighs at the last stage of the Raptors' loss to Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday. His availability on Wednesday night against the "Golden State" will be determined.
But for everybody who looks – including Leonard – he had something to see, like his current team, who may have been his most ardent suitor (Clippers had an intelligence presence in the Raptors games throughout the season) without even to take the floor.
The Raptors (22-7) got their challenging trip to the West End with four fantastic start games with a 123-99 win. They may have helped Clippers play the second night of back-to-back and play overtime to load. Raptors took advantage of this when they made a 36-23 lead in the first quarter, and the second in the second quarter when Clippers came out 17-8 minutes against the Raptors team, Toronto never hesitated.
"Before the game we talked about our crime by doing the work for us and we did," said Sister. "I want to say that our defense was really good, it was just a bunch of boys who hit them everywhere – inside, outside, the transition, we performed our kits pretty well.
The Rapper led the 13th in the half, ending the second quarter in 20th place. They broke the game in the third with 29 points and managed to get out of the house.
The rappers shot 52 percent of the floor and 48 percent of the floor while they picked up 34 assists in 50 flights led by Fred Van Willy's 14th assists. Serge Ibakka had 25 points and OG Anunoby shook funk and 12 points from the bench while six rappers hit double figures. They forced Clippers to 17 turnovers, which turned them into 24 points, compared to 9 points, respectively, on the other side.
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The new player
It's no secret Canada has pumped a lot of talent into the NBA in recent years, with more coming. Some failed to meet expectations – Anthony Bennett, apparently Andrew Wiggins's flat mantle, sequential number one come to mind. Others have accused him – Dwight Powell took out a solid career as a role-playing player after being picked up in the second round of example, or solid professional careers made up of Tristan Thompson, Kelly Ollinic, and Cory Joseph. But Shay Gilgeos-Alexander could be a new category of Canadian: theft. Not that the 6-foot-6 Clippers Point Guard did not come to the league without expecting it was taken the 11th overall from the University of Kentucky Talent Factory, it's just that he already proves that his upside can be much more than each other properly imagined. He has started 18 straight games for Clippers (18-9) who are now 12-6 with him in this role and he has not been watching for more than a minute.
One team that was disappointed that Gilgousus-Alexander star continued to rise in Kentucky were raptors who hoped to leave the lottery where they planned to try to trade in the first round to do so. Once he was established in the lottery, there was even some discussion about the packaging of DeMar DeRozan in order to get enough of it to get it. They obviously could not do that.
The Clippers are very excited to have it, just as Guild-Alexander had to do his debut with the NBA against his youth team first in Toronto and then in Hamilton before going to the US at high school.
"The team I grew up in, I watched, the team I fell in love with was watching the Vince Carter era," he said before the game. "It will be the moment you dream that you could say. Would be fun."
His development curve is fun.
"I'm still growing, I do not know if there's any failure to be honest," said Clippers Doc Rivers chief coach, a longtime NBA protector, before starting a workout. "He learns a lot and he learns quickly, he's a lot of exploring the game, and he wants to improve, so he's still going on, and it was a joy to drive.
Joy to watch too.
It puts a rare combination of a real sense of security on the floor – "composed" is the adjective applied over and over – in a six foot-six package with a seven-foot wingspan that offers the promise of a two- or three- universality.
He never hurries and feels comfortable pulling for a medium-sized Jumper and smart enough to tear the back door. Its three-point range is developing well. Even just over a quarter of his new year, he reads the floor well enough to break the veterans-controlled eavesdropping-as he did when using his length to steal a Kyle Louri pass for Ibaqa in the first quarter.
With Clippers he is lucky enough to be surrounded by a bunch of veteran veterans while he can still climb the floor for 27.5 minutes at night while averaging 10.5 points and three assists at 47% shooting.
"I feel like the perfect situation to develop and learn from my own experience," said Gilgeous-Alexander, who finished with seven points, two rebounds, two assists and three blocks. "I have a bunch of good vets to help me every day to teach me things every day, I'm grateful for that."
It is just the beginning, which is the exciting part.
"The man will be really, really good," said Rivers. "I do not know what this ladder is or when. I knew it would start earlier than later, but the biggest surprise is how good it is and how effective it is at the end of the games. It is really effective along a stretch and he makes great plays on both sides and he is not afraid to make plays.
Gilgies-Alexander kept Laurie for long distances, and there was nothing else to wonder, "Why worry" – that's how deeply the shooter Fun Lowery came in before he came west. In four games, after winning a Cleveland win with a painful back, Laurie shot 14.3% off the floor and averaged only 3.8 points in the game and made only one shot in the line with three points – and only a handful outside of it, He says he is not concerned.
– We'll find out. For me, frankly, it's such a small sample size that I'm not worried about it, "he said before the game." I'm shooting all the threes and I better get into the paint in the middle and play my game and I get out of the box they want me to. I have to go back to myself. "
But what box?
Was Laurie suggesting that being a distributor of Kahwi Leonard was part of the problem? Interesting. Leonard had no such concern, and Laurie seemed to be trying to establish himself early. His first attempt at field was the arrangement that gave Rapters his first result. A moment later he did theft and scored another plan. He even had three hits after he caught a drum from VanVleet – starting at Leonard's place – and hit the ass with confidence, giving Raptors 22-17 lead by five more minutes left in the first quarter. Laurie kept making plays for the others – a full-speed key to find a wide-open Delon Wright for three in the third running rapper, was a harvest as well as the three three-quickshots in the last three minutes of the third that knocked Clippers off. He finished 21 points and seven assists while firing 4-on-8 from the deep.
"Just going there and playing," he said to his breaker. "My guys did a good job, pushing the ball, the tempo was great, we had an open look and my teammates did a good job looking for me." They always support me, but it was time for me to stand up and play.
The nurse traveled from Toronto to Staples center on Monday. His 94-year-old mother, Marcela, died in Carroll, Iowa, and the Raptors coach stopped seeing his family on Monday before joining the team in time for the match Tuesday night, making it in time to meet the media. The nurse is the youngest of nine of a sports-crazy family. His parents, who build a pit in their yard, are just one example. The nurse plays basketball, football and baseball in high school and is not the only one in his family, bitten by the kidney. So maybe it was not a surprise that he made an effort to return to the sidelines without losing a game. "I'm here because my mother will not want another way," he said. "So I'll arrange the game and coach the next tomorrow, and then I'll go back and look after the business.
I asked him how his mother acted as an athlete and coach. He smiled:
"She had a big influence because there were nine of us and I was the last one," he said. – Many games. I said "94 years, nine children and about 80,000 games they watched were her final statistics." So it was certainly okay.
She missed a good one on Tuesday night. Her boy's team did very well.