Revenge Is In The Air At The AT&T Center
Tonight is the night that all Spurs fans (and maybe even some Raptors fans) have been looking forward to since the blockbuster trade went down on July 18th, 2018 - the first meeting between teams after swapping All-Stars.
The storyline of revenge fits both Kawhi Leonard and DeMar DeRozan. For Kawhi, he faces an organization that he felt didn't want to invest in him, or even take proper care of his health. Rumors were he was looking for a way out, and the Spurs obliged on their own terms by sending him to Toronto, not Los Angeles as Kawhi reportedly wanted. For DeMar, the cut is a little deeper. He didn't want to leave the team that drafted him, and even had assurances that he wasn't going to be involved in any trades. Then he felt blindsided when he was notified he got traded, and felt disrespected. At Spurs Media Day in September, he even said every game gets a circle on his calendar, but that this game would have two circles.
The revenge theme is felt by Spurs fans too. A player that once appeared to be taking the baton from Tim Duncan in the franchise's "Race for Seis" now seems to have fumbled the hand-off, maybe never really grasping it in the first place. What will be the reaction during player announcements when Toronto announces their #2? How will the fans treat their new #10 should the black and silver come out of the game on the wrong side of the score? I can only hope that San Antonio fans represent our city with respect and class. Turn your back on him or even boo him, but remember who we are.
My prediction for the game: DeMar will have 33 points, Kawhi will have 31. Spurs WILL win, 110-96.