Around the Association: Canada edition (March 15th-March 20th)

We are back for another edition of Around the Association, Canada edition. All teams were back in full force, wire-to-wire action this week. We start things off on Monday, March 15th with a strong performance from RJ Barrett, following his career-high 32 last week, for his New York Knicks. The Toronto native tallied 23 points despite a loss to cross-river rival Brooklyn Nets 117–112.  

On Tuesday, Kelly Olynyk contributed to Miami’s win in Cleveland with 17 points on 53.8% FG, combining well with Jimmy Butler who dropped 28, for a final advantage of 113–98 for the Heat. On the other hand, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s OKC were not able to grab a dub in Chicago despite the Canadian’s team-high 21 points on close to 60% efficiency from the floor. 

That same evening, Gilgeous-Alexander’s cousin Nickeil Alexander-Walker gave a huge boost to the Pelicans squad off of the bench with 20 points including six made buckets from beyond the arc. This was not enough however to take it over Portland, who were fueled by Damian Lillard’s unreal 50 point showing. 

In a midweek loss to the Detroit Pistons, the Raptors’ Chris Boucher started the game and finished with 21 points on a clinical 10/16 from the hardwood. Also on Humpday, Cory Joseph contributed strongly to his Sacramento King’s nail-biting win in Washington. He finished in double-digits with 12 points on a methodical 5/8 from the field. Jamal Murray’s Nuggets were also able to add a W to their record thanks to the Canadian’s 19 points, scored with a near-54% efficiency. 

Despite a highly contested seventh consecutive Raptors loss on Friday night to the NBA’s best record holders Utah Jazz, Chris Boucher tried everything he could to keep his team in it with 16 points, including 3/4 (75%) from deep. Andrew Wiggins took a page out of his teammate Steph Curry’s book and dropped a monstrous 40 points, including six threes against Memphis in a 116–103 win that night. On the other side of the floor, Brandon Clarke was impressive off of the bench with 13 points on 5/9 shooting. 

Jamal Murray contributed 34 points against the Chicago Bulls at home on Friday, including an impossible-looking sidestep three pointer in the dying seconds to tie the game up and send it to OT. All-star teammate Nikola Jokic also tallied 34, final score 131–127. 

Last, but certainly not least, we head into Saturday night’s matchups. Wiggins flirted with a double-double, finishing with 20 points and 9 rebounds during a loss in Memphis. The Grizzlies’ W was in large part thanks to their dynamic Canadian duo, Dillon Brooks and Brandon Clarke, who both dropped 19 and 16 respectively. Brooks finished with a team-high +22 when he was on the floor. 

As we head into the final stretch of the regular season, Canadians’ contributions across the Association are only going to get more and more vital to their squads’ successes. Circle back around next week to see what they have been up to during the most recent scheduled matchups. 

Written by Thomas Debost

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