Saturday, November 3, 2012

Raptors basketball: Toronto Raptors first game at the Air Canada Centre, Demar Derozans contract extension and more!

       In this blog post, I will provide my thoughts and review about the Toronto Raptors first regular season home opener game against the Indiana Pacers. The Toronto Raptors lost to the Indiana Pacers 88-90 as Andrea Bargnani missed a jumper in the final seconds to push the game to over-time. In this post, I will also provide my thoughts on Demar Derozan's new contract extension and I will also provide a preview of the Toronto Raptors game tonight against the Brooklyn Nets.

My thoughts about the Toronto Raptors home opener against Indiana Pacers

       The Toronto Raptors had a pretty good first game against the Indiana Pacers, however there were a lot of flaws in the game like when the Toronto Raptors blew a 10 point lead when there were six minutes left in the 4th quarter and also went scoreless in the last 4 minutes 4th quarter. Overall, the  Toronto Raptors shot 36 percent from the line and were out rebounded 42-46. Dwayne Casey had positive things to say about the Raptors after the game at the Air Canada Centre and thought that the Toronto Raptors showed "grit and funk" which I also agree with him because the team did play hard, however little mistakes cost them the game.

      Jonas Valanciunas and Kyle Lowry who are the newest editions to the team played well as rookie Jonas Valanciunas was nervous in the beginning in his first game did have trouble guarding Roy Hibbert. 12 points and 10 rebounds and shows that he has the capability of being a double double every night.

      Point guard Kyle Lowry nearly had a triple double with 21 points assists, seven rebounds and five steals. Kyle Lowry is what the Toronto Raptors need as he can pick up the scoring load, make plays for his team and plays defence.

      Landry Fields who looked promising during preseason who I preached will be a important piece to the Toronto Raptors had a disappointing night with 0 points in 24 minutes.

      Andrea Bargnani in the first quarter seemed to look like he was coming to grip to be the player he was last year before he got injured as he had 11 points. However, he finished the game with 16 points, just 3 rebounds (more than Kyle Lowry), 3 assists with 4-16 shooting.

Demar Derozan contract extension

       I'm pretty sure that many of you have heard that Demar Derozan was granted a contract extension 4 years, 38 million dollars. Some people are happy and some are disappointed with the deal. In my opinion, I think it is fair for what Demar Derozan received because say if he will have a breakout season this year? We would probably end up having to pay him more than around 10 million per year.

       Bryan Colangelo also said that the Toronto Raptors may have lost Demar Derozan in free agency because as he would have been a restricted free agent where the Raptors would have had the rights to match any contract offered by another team. However, other teams would have overpaid Demar Derozan by offering him a poison pill contract which the Raptors would not want to match because they would feel he would not be worth the money and would have to lose him and a core piece. The other choice would have been that they would have matched the poison pill contract that the other teams offered which would ruin their Raptors cap flexibility and future plans. However, both choices are not a win situation.

       Demar Derozan is still 23 years old and has the work ethic to be sucessful. He still has loads of potential because in 222 games, he has averaged 14.1 points, 3.4 rebounds, 30.3 minutes in 222 career games with the Raptors and has made 743 free-throws out of 927. He also had the biggest scoring increase in his second year from 8.6 points to 17.2 points. Demar Derozan is a fan favourite in Toronto and he also has lots of love for Toronto. However, I hope that newly awarded contract will make him more motivated and will eventually improve his game that he is not fully developed like being efficient in scoring, passing and defending.

Toronto Raptors v.s Brooklyn Nets preview

       The Toronto Raptors will face Brooklyn Nets today at the new Barclays Centre in Brooklyn 7:30PM. If you live in Toronto you can also catch the game on television on Sportsnet. Brooklyn Nets will also make their season debut after being affected by Hurricane Sandy and also moving from Newark which they were previously known as the New Jersey Nets.

       It's going to be challenging to handle the duo back court combination of elite point guard Deron Williams and guard Joe Johnson because the Toronto Raptors mostly used the back court combination of Jose Calderon and Kyle Lowry against the Pacers. However, let's see how Brooklyn's bench will last against the Toronto Raptors.

       This blog post provided a review about the Toronto Raptors first regular season home opener game against the Indiana Pacers which the Toronto Raptors lost 88-90. I also provided my thoughts on Demar Derozan's new contract extension and a preview of the Toronto Raptors game tonight against the Brooklyn Nets. The Toronto Raptors will play there next game against Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday, November 4th at 6PM.

       If you missed the first Raptors game of the season, check out the highlights! It was a tight and very exciting game.

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