The Toronto Raptors are about halfway through their preseason slate, and fans have to like what they’re seeing so far. The Raps 2-1 record is nice, but the real takeaways from the early action are their balanced scoring, the immediate contributions of rookies Jonas Valanciunas and Terrence Ross, and the fun and effective up-tempo style employed by Dwane Casey.
Look for the Raps’ pace to be even faster tomorrow and in the future, as point guard Kyle Lowry will be in the lineup. After a brief battle with muscle strains in his leg, the ridiculously quick point guard will play his first preseason game with the team on Wednesday. Lowry will add speed, toughness, intelligence and offensive fire-power to a team that already looks much better than last year.
Lowry is one of the most productive point guards in the league, and he’s returning at the perfect time. The Raps have just four preseason games left before they play their regular season opener against the Indiana Pacers on Oct. 31.
We’ll have a preview and recap of tomorrow’s game against the Wizards when the time is right. Until then, check out some of the top Raptors coverage from around the web in today’s Raptors Roundup.
- Doug Smith of the Toronto Star suggests that The Chicken do a Felix Baumgartner-esque space jump through the Air Canada Centre roof on opening night. I’m all for it.
- Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun provides this outlook on the future of professional sports in Toronto. Hint: it doesn’t look too great. Let’s hope the Raps can change that.
- Eric Koreen of the National Post wrote a great piece about Kyle Lowry and his effect on the Raps’ collective personality. It features a quote from DC comparing Lowry to the parent who disciplines their child with a belt. I’m pretty sure that’s a good thing…
- Jeff Blair of The Globe and Mail implores that you have patience with rookie centre Jonas Valanciunas. Blair also talks a decent amount about JV wearing nothing but a towel. So there’s that.
- To conclude this edition of Raptors Roundup, I give you this spotty iPhone video of JV’s performance on Friday, courtesy of a YouTube user by the name of Joe Diamond. He finished with 11 points, 8 boards and just 3 fouls in 29 minutes of play. More importantly, notice the things that won’t show up in a box score: the way he runs the floor, his advanced defensive positioning, his aggression when he rolls to the bucket. If he stays healthy, this kid is going to be special.
Austin Green is the editor of Raptors Rapture. “Like” Raptors Rapture on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @RaptorsRapture for all the latest news and updates about the best damn NBA team from Canada.