Can you believe it, the long summer is almost over. Next week media day and a brand new season has begun. After that there will be training camp and pre-season and we are just a month and 2 days from the start of regular season. It all goes by pretty quick. So what isn't new about the Raptors? Chris Bosh is 15 pounds heavier we are told. He has been working extremely hard this off season. Early reports on Andrea Bargnani are good. Jay Triano was on The Fan 590 the other day and mentioned both of these items. He said of Bargnani that he has continued to make progress in his development of a post game. Jay also referenced about getting Jose to push the ball more. These are all positives.
That concludes you re-cap of the players that were here last season at this time. Everyone else is new and that will be the story through the entire pre-season. The 9 new faces this off-season and how they all fit together with this team's core. The one player you will likely not see a ton of is Hedo Turkoglu. He just came off playing in Eurobasket and did have a slight injury there. But that is not expected to be an issue. What will be is the fact that in the last calender year Hedo has probably played the most basketball of his professional career. Much like in football we never saw much of T.O in the pre-season the same might be said for Hedo. However the Raptors know what they have in him and ideally you would like to see him play a lot but it is more important that he is ready for when it matters. Add Chris Bosh to that list as well as Doug Smith reports that CB4 has tweaked his hamstring.
The Raptors enter this camp with 4 of 5 starting spots pretty much locked in stone. Calderon, Bosh, Bargnani and Turkoglu should all be hearing their names called at the opener on October 28th. The one spot in the air is who will be the starting shooting guard. But even that seems to be decided as long as Demar DeRozan looks ready. Triano suggested that it makes sense for DeRozan to be a starter. He compared Marco Belinelli to a guy like Eddie House for the Celtics. Someone that can play with the second unit and score points. Ben Gordon played a roll like that with the Bulls for a number of years and actually won a 6th man of the year award. Bryan Colangelo said at his best Belinelli should be a contender for that award this year.
Jarrett Jack will be the back up for Jose and you can also expect to see the 2 on the floor together. Triano suggested using some aspects on the Princeton Offense. That is the main system that Eddie Jordan will use in Philly. Jordan only wishes he had point guards to level of Calderon and Jack to run it.
For everyone else...D is the key. Reggie Evans will lead that charge of defense and rebounding. Helped by Rasho Nesterovic, Amir Johnson and Antoine Wright and anyone else that cares to join the party. So it should be fun to watch and see how it all comes together.
Lots of time to talk about it so we will leave it there for today. After all it's Friday and the weekend. As always you can catch me on CJLO on Off The Bench at 12:15am listen on CJLO.com.