This time, it was the Bench Mob’s turn to be fed, and Ibaka played off their on-court smarts by serving up some lamb brain.
The group of Norm Powell, Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, Delon Wright and OG Anunoby was mostly game for at least trying the dish, known as cervelles in France.
Ibaka also questioned his young teammates and even seemed to pick their, uh, minds a bit.
He asked who would take the last shot in a close game, and the two point guards seemed to give the most thoughtful answers.
“I’ll probably do like a pick-and-roll,” said Wright. “If I got a big on me I’ll go by him, if I don’t, look for somebody.”
“The thing that makes us so good is that it really doesn’t matter,” said VanVleet. “Anybody on the floor could make the shot so I think if you get an open shot it’s better than a contested shot.”
The Raptors have earned a reputation as an underperforming team in the playoffs, and while not every member of the Bench Mob has been around for much of those spring failures, the players still weighed in on what needs to happen to get things done in the post-season this time around.
“The key to advance is just to play, man,” said Powell, who’s come to the rescue in first-round series before. “Just play. I feel like we get caught up too much in what people are saying, media are saying, and whatever it is just go out on the court man and lay it all out there and play.”
“We just gotta keep going,” said Siakam. “Keep working hard, keep pushing, and just play free.”
VanVleet, ever thoughtful, added: “Attention to detail and being real locked in and focused. … This is the year though.”
The Mob also took a chance to poke fun at its youngest member, Anunoby. The 21-year-old seemed reluctant to share his thoughts on the matter, but his teammates wouldn’t let him stay quiet. There’s only room on this team for one shy player, apparently.
“We got Kawhi (Leonard) now,” said Siakam. “He took your shine.”
For your information:
A 100-gram serving of lamb brain contains 272 calories, 17 grams of which come from protein.
It’ll also give you 22.2 grams of fat and 10 per cent of your daily potassium needs.
Lamb brain is also a rich source of Vitamin C, Vitamin B12, and phosphorus.