Saturday, October 20, 2012

Preseason thoughts Part 2

       My apologies for the late post as I wanted this post to include last nights game when the Toronto Taptors faced the New York Knicks.  Toronto Maple Leafs fans should be prepared to watch Toronto Raptors games this season everywhere as there is no sight to an end to the NHL lockout. However, let's get to business as I should have posted this blog earlier in the day.

       The Toronto Raptors have played 5 games into preseason are currently have a record of 4-1 tied with the Philadelphia 76ers with the best preseason record in the Eastern Conference and both teams are tied with the Golden State Warriors for the best record in the league. The Toronto Raptors currently have a 4-0 record at home (Air Canada Centre) and 0-1 on the road. Preseason is looking very good and many fans are going to expect the team to play good as the regular season begins.

      Last night, the Toronto Raptors won against the New York Knicks in Montreal at the Bell Centre with a score of 107-88 in front of 22,114 fans and there were many things that I liked and probably you guys liked many things as well. I've also posted highlights at the end of the post if you missed the game!

Thoughts about the game:

- It seems that Andrea Bargnani who left the game when Raptors were facing the Washington Wizards with a calf contusion, seems to have woken up from his slump as he scored his preseason best 20 points. He also played good defence as he posted two blocks and 7 rebounds. Hopefully, there will be more good news in sight for Bargnani as there are two games remaining and the regular season a week and a half away.

 - Jonas Valančiūnas is showing fans and the Raptors management that he is able to adapt to various situations as he was in foul trouble early in the game against the Knicks. He is showing that he is a competitor as he was preventing himself being fouled out in the 4th quarter. Valančiūnas finished with 4 points and 10 rebounds.

- Kyle Lowry seems to be getting into shape after dealing with his injury as he had 17 points(5-6 from 3 point range), 4 assists and 5 rebounds. He also had a couple fiesty moves where he crossed over Raymond Felton and got a three pointer which is in the video at the end of the post if you missed it. He also took it hard to the paint with a point and a foul. Now I know why people call Kyle Lowry a bulldog as I saw that mentality in him last night.

Thoughts of Raptors preseason as it progresses:

        There is going to be competition in the point guard position and I could see José Calderón
being traded as he is good expiring asset because John Lucas III has been performing coming off the bench especially against the Knicks where scored 12 points in 9 minutes. With the previous game against the Wizards with Lowry's return, him and Jose Calderón combined for 26 points, 14 assists and five steals while John Lucas III added 5 points, 3 assists and 3 rebounds.

Jonas Valančiūnas: There were many people who grilled Valančiūnas as I mentioned in my other post that he didn't play well in his first game. However, I think these people probably have changed there mind. Although he does have rookie moments as he commits turnovers and fouls, Jonas Valančiūnas has definetly impressed me as he's been playing aggressive in the post as well as protecting the post. He's also made to the highlight reel a couple times including his pump fake dunk that he had against the Washington Wizards and he's probably averaging a double double or near that line.

Landry Fields: I hope my opinion doesn't change about him, but I think Fields has been playing well especially when Lowry returned as he scored 15 points. Fields is also doing the little things that are unnoticed such as his hard-nosed play and agressiveness.

Other notes:

Ed Davis: Injured because of a sore hip and the Raptors want to make sure he is fully healed
Terrence Ross: Sore knee but was back in the line up againist the New York Knicks

       The Raptors have two more preseason games left as they have play once again at home on Monday against the Milwaukee Bucks and then play their last game on Friday away from the Air Canada Centre facing the Memphis Grizzlies. These two games are going to be crucial for the Toronto Raptors players as coach Casey is going to determine the roles for each player as well as the starting line up for at least the early part of the regular season.

       I will have one more blog on preseason thoughts and will also post my predictions for the starting line up on Toronto Raptors opening night on Halloween sometime next week. Also, if you like what I post about, please check out my social media websites with the links above on the side. Feel free to share this article with others by using the share buttons at the end of the blog and also suscribe to my blog to recieve updates on my blog. Happy reading!

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