If Jonas Valanciunas’ debut was the main event of this pre-season for Raptors fans, Kyle Lowry’s debut is a formidable undercard headliner, and barring any setbacks, we’ll get to see it on Wednesday night against the Wizards.
Lowry had missed the first week (three games) of the pre-season nursing a strained adductor muscle, but is reportedly ready to get on the court and take the reins of Toronto’s offence (and defence, for that matter). Jose Calderon, on the other hand, who left Friday’s game against the Pistons with hamstring tightness, has not had his status for Wednesday determined yet.
While positional battles and depth chart questions are always interesting, the pre-season is usually one highly anticipated game to start the exhibition schedule, followed by another six or seven games of eye rolling and waiting for the regular season to finally begin. Raptors fans have been spoiled with a few extra games to look forward to this pre-season, however, as every game so far has had an intriguing underlying storyline, from the opener at home, to Valanciunas’ debut and then home debut, which will now be followed by Lowry’s debut (at home) and a matchup with the Knicks in Montreal.
By the time we’re through with that game, only a couple of likely snoozefests against the Bucks and Grizzlies will separate us from the regular season.
As long as Valanciunas’ calf and Lowry’s adductor don’t cause any problems later on this season, their initial absence might have simply given us more to look forward to in this usually dry period of meaningless basketball.