This might be the quickest trip to Canada that any NBA team makes
this season. The Mavericks landed at about 1:30 a.m. Sunday and by the time
they got through customs and took a lengthy bus ride from the airport to the
city center, it was closing in on 3 a.m.
They will play at 6 p.m., Toronto time and hope to be in the
air on the way to Philadelphia between 10 and 11 p.m.
“We love these challenges,’’ coach Rick
Carlisle said. “It was a late night but that happens. We make the best of
it. I’m more concerned with playing Toronto because they’re the
kind of team that’s given us problems. And this is a tough place to
The numbers don’t exactly bear that out. The Raptors
are 11-19 on their home floor this season.
By the way, it’s a homecoming of sorts for Shawn
Marion and Peja Stojakovic. Marion played briefly for the Raptors in the
2008-09 season and Stojakovic played two games with them in November before a
knee injury shut him down until he was waived and signed with Dallas.
Those short stints didn’t exactly make for a tearful
return to the arena.