I don’t know how many other fanbases in the NBA could actually get people to watch an intrasquad scrimmage via online stream, but if you checked twitter on Sunday afternoon, you’ll know plenty of Raptors fans were doing just that, in addition to those in attendance for the exhibition event at Casino Rama.
Other than some corny music and what usually looked like scenes from an equally corny high school basketball movie, what you likely observed during the scrimmage was Jose Calderon leaving the game with an apparent thigh or knee injury after getting tangled with Andrea Bargnani.
John Lucas III also seemed to hurt his knee during the meaningless game, but was quoted as saying he’ll be “ready to go” for Wednesday’s opener after the game.
As for Calderon, it appears he may also have avoided anything significant, as he tweeted the following later on Sunday:
Great exhibition/practice. Now to focus on wednesday vs Pacers. Only a hit on my knee. Nothing else. I’ll be practicing tomorrow! Thanks
— jose manuel calderon (@josemcalderon8) October 28, 2012
Perhaps I spoke too soon when I said the Raptors had managed to escape the pre-season relatively injury free.
The easy complaint after today would be that there was no point in having the players participate in an event like this so close to the start of the regular season, and in a way, I understand and agree with that theory. But at the same time, this was nothing more than a scrimmage with some extra eyeballs watching, and these injuries/minor bumps can and do happen behind closed door practices, too, so it’s not like keeping the players in Toronto to practice or scrimmage takes the risk away.
Lastly, one of the teams featured Lowry, DeRozan, Fields, Bargnani and Valanciunas playing together, so if we weren’t already convinced that was the team’s starting five going into Wednesday, we probably should be by now.