The Toronto Raptors are 3-1, but no one seems to be particularly happy about it. The team has yet to play anything even close to resembling a complete game and Head Coach Dwane Casey’s defense of last year is hard to find for longer than a few minutes at a stretch. However, the Raptors are finding ways to win games and in prior years, poor starts and inconsistent effort usually ended in a loss.
Veteran center Chuck Hayes is one of the role players on the Raptors who helps keep everyone on an even keel and he doesn’t sound worried in the least.
“Some nights you are going to have it and some you’re not, it’s early,” Hayes said. “Obviously we didn’t have the spark when we needed it to start the game, really the whole first half. That’s why we play two halves.”
The Raptors gave up 30 points and 70.6 percent shooting from the field in the first quarter to a depleted visiting Thunder team before the second unit came in and slowly changed the tenor of the game. It wasn’t pretty, but it was a win and Hayes warns that a team can’t dwell on what’s past or this league will eat you up emotionally.
“Some nights you are going to be in rhythm and some nights you’re not,” Hayes said. “It’s a marathon. It’s game four out of 82. Me or anybody else, you can’t dwell on it. You move on, we have another game tomorrow.
“It’s a grind. It’s a marathon. You can’t wear your emotions on your sleeve in this profession because it will eat you up.”
The message from the veteran is clear. Take the win, put it in your pocket and move on. There’s another game tomorrow and a lot of games to follow after that. The Raptors pulled out the 100-88 win with a big fourth quarter and it’s time to get on the plane to Boston.
Feature photo credit Paul Saini, Flymm.com
“I have to do whatever a team needs me to do. Whatever Coach asks of me, that is what I am going to do,” Hayes told Pro Bball Report. “We have been on the bad side in Sacramento. Things wasn’t the greatest as far as racking up wins, so when you are on a team that is winning, you are willing to sacrifice anything.”
“My first two years at Kentucky I was a five man 6’8. I was a taller version of Chuck (Hayes),” Patterson said. “Calipari comes in and completely opens up my eyes and changes my world. I am what I am because of him.”