Toronto Raptors fans can’t really ask for much more out of a Summer League debut. Not only did fans get to see young studs like Armoni Brooks and Christian Koloko put on solid performances against the rival Philadelphia 76ers, but they did so in what became a 97-77 victory.
While it was far from a perfect showing given some of the iffy shooting percentages, the fact that so many players were able to hold their heads high and come out from this game with a solid showing confirms that Toronto’s ability to identify young talent has in no way eroded.
The Raptors know that most of the players in this game are going to be stuck at the back end of the bench, yet they remain committed to making sure that everyone on the NBA roster can hold their own if pressed into action. The early returns are certainly very encouraging.
Raptors fans should walk away from their dominant victory over Philadelphia with these three takeaways etched in stone. Toronto has made their presence in the Summer League scene known, as several players stood out against a deep Philly squad.
3 takeaways from the Toronto Raptors’ Summer League opener
3. Dalano Banton is confident offensively, but still turns it over
Banton can be a bit of a frustrating player given how he came into the league deficient from an offensive creation point of view. While letting him get free reign of the offense led to some maddening turnovers, it also showed that his shot-making looks a bit more refined this year.
Banton’s seven turnovers are impossible to ignore and will undoubtedly help him receive a serious grilling during film study. However, he did finish the day with 21 points and five assists while making six of his 11 shots from the field and nailing two of his three 3-point attempts.
Dalano Banton may be a better scorer for the Toronto Raptors.
Perhaps emboldened by the improved Justin Champagnie sitting out due to a finger ailment, Banton was getting to the rim and showing a much-improved jump shot. We know he can rebound and defend well, but that improved scoring is a nice feather in his cap.
Banton will need to be more controlled, as losing the ball that frequently is not a sustainable way to play basketball. At the very least, Dalano is being more creative and daring on offense. We couldn’t always say that about him last year.