Anyone who made it down to the ACC last night was treated to one of the best experiences of the season, and not just because the Raptors beat the Knicks 100-98 in an enthralling encounter.
That’s because it was also fan night, which might explain why the game was a sell-out. (To be fair though, it was the eighth sell-out of the season for the Raptors, their most in four seasons.)
Not surprisingly, numerous guys were eager to have their photo taken with the Raptors Dance Pak. Unfortunately for the two men in this picture the snapper had trouble focusing. (Not that I can blame him.)
At the opposite end of the spectrum, the Raptors mascot also made his inevitable appearance. Here he is proving there’s no limit to his ego by only agreeing to pose with fans if all other colour is removed from the photos to make him stand out more:
As if that wasn’t bad enough, it was also custody night for the Raptor, hence he decided to bring his children to the game. (There’s no doubt in my mind that Mrs Raptor divorced his sorry ass years ago.)
As part of the half-time entertainment, rapper Young MC took to the court to put on a show. I’m not really down with today’s music (ala Matt Devlin) so I have no idea who he is. However, here’s a pretty collage of pictures to appease his fans:
Also enticing people to come out to the game last night was the opportunity to be one of 10,000 people to get a Kyle Lowry bobblehead:
In light of this promotion, it was fitting that Lowry got the game-winning shot, even though he caused me to have an anxiety attack with the amount of faffing around he did in the build-up.
Actually, speaking of players who faff around, here’s Dwane Casey welcoming Sebastian Telfair to the team:
Given the lack of enthusiasm surrounding the trade for Telfair, it wouldn’t surprise me if Casey is actually giving him a sucker punch to the stomach. Or maybe he’s pissed off that the Raptors still have Andrea Bargnani and is just taking out his frustrations on the newest acquisition.
While we’re on the subject of Bargnani, I admit I was saddened when the fans booed him after he entered the game for the first time. We have to accept the guy is here until at least the summer, so getting on his back isn’t going to help anyone:
However, despite having always been in the Italians corner, I’m at least objective enough to acknowledge it looked really bad when he still had zeroes across the board after 12 minutes of action. Until this happened:
I’m joking of course. That never happened. Unfortunately the first (and only) contribution Bargnani made all night on the stat line was to foul someone.
Bargnani aside, the evening was a rousing success, with the Raptors now just 4.5 games back of the eighth-place Milwaukee Bucks. And while it’s still a long shot to make the playoffs, I’m now officially on board and drinking the kool-aid. (Something tells me several more anxiety attacks are imminent.)
Photo credits: @StuColvin, @StopBooingMe, @strizzy & @CanSportsRT
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