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Friday’s FTB: Go Raps

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Are we a hockey blog? Eh, maybe later.

2019 NBA Finals - Game Two Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

Buenos dias!

ICYMI

Katya Knappe: Buy Me Dougie Hamilton Or Go To Hell Katya rides a wave of righteous fury in text, and it is wonderful.

Katya Knappe: SBNation Mock Draft Picks 17 & 18 And also, she summarized the recent picks in SBN’s mock draft. Katya carries the team on her back some weeks.

Links

I wrote this before the Bruins/Blues game. I don’t care what happened. We have better things to talk about.

The Athletic: Top Pair Trade Targets by Jonas Siegel. A survey of just about every plausible and not very plausible trade candidate to shore up the Leafs’ D. Most of them seem pretty unlikely to me; of the 24 names, Colin Miller and Jacob Trouba might be to the more realistic end of the spectrum.

The Athletic: Candidates For All Seven Leaf Picks At The 2019 NHL Draft by Scott Wheeler. Our ex-editor Scort always has interesting thoughts on potential draftees. I won’t spoil the list through the paywall, but Maxim Cajkovic and Jordan Spence are some fascinating names he raises who might legit be in range of the Leafs’ picks in Rounds Two & Three.

Silver Seven Sens: Jack Capuano Named Ottawa Senators Associate Coach by Colin Cudmore. I don’t get the impression Jack Capuano is very good, but maybe he’ll at least avoid getting trashed in a hilarious Uber video.

Oilers Nation: Weekly NHL Rumours by Tyler Yaremchuk. I’m worried Ken Holland is going to make the Oilers less bad and less funny. Can you imagine if Chiarelli were still there? He would absolutely be picking up anchors as life rafts.

The NBA Finals

This is the only time you’ll hear me say this, but the NBA finals are vastly of more interest than anything hockey-related right now, because the Toronto Raptors are up 2-1 in the finals over the dynasty Golden State Warriors. Game 4 goes tonight at 9:00 PM EST.

I really only have room in my life for one sport, but I am shamelessly bandwagoning the Raps right now because a) everyone I know is talking about them and b) if I have to have one more fucking conversation about Mitch Marner’s contract I’m going to scream. So, here’s a tiny Game 4 preview from a man who does not really know what he’s talking about:

  • The Raps will probably continue to follow a defensive strategy where they glue Fred VanVleet to Steph Curry and switch on everyone else. I found out what switching was in basketball two weeks ago!
  • The Warriors are going to get Klay Thompson back this game, who is their other murderously good three-point shooter. This means Golden State will have multiple shooting threats again, as opposed to last game where they were Steph Curry and Several Guys From The Local YMCA.
  • Golden State superstar Kevin Durant is not back from injury yet. This is a good thing for Toronto as if the Warriors get him back they become arguably the best team in the history of the league. So that’s a bit intimidating. Would be a great time to win, just saying.

And now, some basketball content from people who do know what they’re talking about:

Raptors HQ: Star Power And Toronto’s Shooters Get It Done In Game 3 by Daniel Hackett. Daniel Hackett is a smart and worthy basketball analyst, and he occasionally pops by our site. Hi Dan!

Golden State of Mind: Curry Plays Well But Warriors Struggle In Game 3 Loss To Toronto by Thomas Bevilacqua. I think a lot about “protagonist bias”—the feeling that your team is essentially the main character of the story. If they win it’s because they were good and if they lose it’s because they were bad, and the other team is at most a fascinating villain (along with the refs.) We all do this to some extent with our teams; this article does it explicitly. Interesting.

Raptors Republic: Should Fred VanVleet Start? by Louis Zatman. Fred VanVleet is 6’0”, which in hockey terms means he’s 4’9”. You gotta root for that guy.

Deadspin: Kevin Durant Is Fucking Up The Finals by Albert Burneko. Burneko is fun to read about basketball because he appears to hate it very deeply. I sympathize.

I will go back to only caring about the Leafs in time for the draft or the Nikita Zaitsev trade, but pending those things, hockey can take a nap for a bit. Go Raps.