Raptors looked OK
Obviously in a first pre-season game you don't expect anything fantastic. And you don't read too much into anything you see. But there were some things I really liked about the game for the Raptors.
1) They were in control most of the game and looked like they knew how to put the game away. They were the better team and they played like it.
2) The frontcourt of JV / Amir / Hansbrough played hard, dominated the paint and glass, and were efficient on offence. If it were not for Sullinger for the Cs fighting back under the basket this game could have been a lot more one sided.
3) Wings were pretty solid. Gay, Derozan, and even Ross were pretty effective on both ends of the floor.
4) There were definately stretches of this game where I saw some great looking D for a pre-season game.
PG play was not too impressive. I would expect more out of Lowry especially. I will chalk it up this time as having to run an offense with Avery Bradley nipping at your heals the whole game.
Quote I really liked from Zarar Siddiqi of Raptor's Republic about Hansbrough: "Never seen a guy hustle this much in a pre-season game ."
Are you talking about Ben Hansbrough? I'm hella confused.
Never head of him. I think you mean Ben. Not very tall or athletic, but extremely smart and slow.
Psycho T is a good pickup for them. Good, hard worker guy who hustles. He's a good fourth or fifth big.
About Kyle Lowry: He seems like a guy more interested in stats and calling his own number, than being a leader or a pass-first point guard. Don't know what Toronto's backup point guard position is like, but they might need to get a pass-first point guard to bring off the bench.
The Raptors have talent and should make a run for the playoffs. Size inside and lots of talent on the wings. If Rudy Gay gets his jumper into 'average' territory as opposed to 'abysmal' territory where it has been the past few years (since his shoulder injury), Rudy can be an all-star and the Raptors can sneak into the playoffs. With their talent, youth, athleticism, and length, the Raptors look like a team that the Eastern contenders (Miami, Chicago, Indy) don't want to play in the first round. It looks like the 6-8 seeds are wide open out East and look for Toronto to be in that mix.
About Lowry. I think that's nonsense. He's an excellent PG who sometimes jacks 3s. It's an efficient shot and he's good at it.
His assist rate stood at 35% last year. (for context, nash was around 33%, deron and rubio 38%). You can be selfish and still get assists, but an assist rate that high is very unlikely for a selfish player. Lowry is one of the most underrated point guards in the league and one of the most effective PG defenders.
I can't tell...
JV looked really good, but he has to learn how to play defense with committing fouls.
Checked Gay's shot chart last night. 3-for-4 from mid-range!!!
I'm thinking/hoping will be a fairly good team this year. Looks like the players has dedicated their off season to not only working on their games but their bodies as well. Obviously JV has packed on some good weight, but it looks like Lowry has got himself into shape to. Add that to the fact that Gay has said he has put on 20 pounds of muscle (bit of a stretch I'm sure) then i think we're in for a promising season.
Well they got rid of Bargs and they have a good GM now. Future looks pretty bright.