Archive for the ‘Pre-season’ Category

Raptors 120, Grizzlies 106

Like a lot of pre-season games over the last couple of nights, Friday’s Raptors/Grizzlies contest wasn’t televised in either team’s city, and the only way you could actually follow this game live outside of being there was on Memphis radio, so it’s kind of like a Raptors fan’s equivalent of the whole “if a tree falls in the forest with no one around” shtick.

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Notice the perfectly timed digital ad banner in the background?

Another slow start for the Raptors, but ultimately, another pre-season victory.

Here are some thoughts on the game:

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After looking like the Knicks might run away with it at one point in the first half, the Raptors turned the tables and ended up cruising to their third straight pre-season win and fourth overall in front of what sounded like an awesome capacity crowd in Montreal.

I maintain, like most of you, that pre-season results mean next to nothing, but this was by far Toronto’s most impressive performance of the exhibition schedule thus far.

Here are some thoughts on the game:

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Other than Terrence Ross missing out with a sore knee, the Raptors and their fans finally got a glimpse of what this year’s roster looks like when healthy in another narrow pre-season victory.

I didn’t get a chance to post any thoughts on Friday night’s victory over the Pistons, but I’ll make up for it tonight, since I have a ton of thoughts on this game.

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With Jonas Valanciunas’ pre-season debut out of the way, fans can now shift their attention from the question of “what will we see?” to “what are we seeing?” I think most reasonable people were content, if not impressed, with Valanciunas’ solid 13 minutes in Detroit on Wednesday night, particularly on the defensive end of the floor.

But there are surely others out there who simply looked at the boxscore, saw two points on 1-of-2 shooting and a couple of blocks and asked, “is this what all the hype was about?” That’s obviously unfair, and too simplistic of a view, but if you’re a casual fan who doesn’t necessarily care about the nuances of a sport outside of the numbers, I can see why you might have been disappointed with Valanciunas’ debut.

Nonetheless, I’m among those with the highest of expectations for Jonas (I think he’s a legitimate threat to be a top-five centre in the NBA within a few years, and a potential franchise centre at that), and even I don’t expect much statistically in his rookie season.

What I do expect, though, is to see some positives on the floor outside of the realm of numbers. So, heading into tonight’s rematch with the Pistons at the ACC and going forward, what should you be watching for in Jonas Valanciunas’ game?

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