Five thoughts on Game 23: Raptors 116, Grizzlies 107

Toronto Raptors at Memphis Grizzlies, December 8 2017

The Toronto Raptors went into Memphis and beat the Grizzlies last night, their fifth straight win. I missed the game unfortunately, and so I found myself living vicariously through my Twitter timeline, well after the final buzzer had sounded.

Fortunately, my Raptors Twitter feed has become on my favourite parts of following the team. With that in mind I thought I’d try and replicate the experience for you, with a few fun, smart, hilarious moments from my Raptors Twitter feed last night.

Things got off to a slow start with a way-too-easy Ben Macklemore joke

Blake Murphy provides injury- and lineup-related notes before every game, and he dropped this total groaner before tip-off:

Of course, Macklemore sold it by playing his ass off in the first half, giving us equally eye-rolling Eric Koreen response:

Macklemore finished 3-5 for 10 points in 10 minutes in the half.

Of course, he also blew a 360-dunk:

Bad jokes, terrible dunk attempt… in the end I’d say it’s a wash.

Getting the “reaction preview” from Twitter before the video hits

First, there’s this, from Eric:

Then there’s Blake’s reaction:

And finally the video from the Raptors:

That’s a hell of a dunk. OG played 34 minutes, scored 8 points and had no rebounds and no assists. But it sounds like his impact came on the defensive end, and not in the stat sheet (though he did have two steals):

The Toronto Raptors bench has impressed the Twitterati

That kinda love isn’t just reserved for OG; Twitter adores the Raptors bench. Last night, after struggling in the first half, the bench settled things down in the fourth and helped the Raptors finally take the lead.

Fred VanVleet is… The Closer

VanVleet played the final 15 minutes. They were down by one when he came back in, and finished +9. He went 3-6 from deep and finished with 12 points.

This extraordinary ‘90s-tinged exchange between Blake and Eric

Who knew Bush would tear these two apart:

The best part is, it led to this in Blake’s recap at Raptors Republic (which you should read for an actual recap of this game):

Blake Murphy Toronto Raptors Memphis Grizzlies recap w/Bush

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And there you have it. The bench found its way in the second half, Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan were solid, Serge Ibaka had another great shooting night and the Raps managed to put the Grizzlies away in the end.

I’m always bummed when I miss a game, but I’m grateful to have Blake, Eric, Doug, Holly and the rest of Raptors Twitter to provide an entertaining play by play…

…but of course, some things really can’t make up for watching a broadcast.

What you really miss when you miss a game is the game beyond the game, you know?

“Social media moderation”

Denise Balkissoon, writing for the Globe and Mail, has been experiencing feelings similar to mine on social media. She makes an effective comparison to food and unhealthy consumption, arguing that self-moderation is the best solution.

…social media is actually more like food than a drug – a broad category of sources with both helpful and harmful possibilities.

Like food, social media can nourish us in the right company. But it can also be addictive – or at least a crutch for our vulnerabilities. Those weaknesses are exacerbated by inequalities of access that leave some people more open to manipulative messages or unhealthy choices.

I think I agree; over the past few weeks, I’ve significantly cut back my social media usage, but haven’t gone cold turkey. I feel better about it, but I also don’t feel disconnected.

Balkisoon’s piece is thoughtful and well worth a read.