So... it has taken about a half a month but last night we all got are first look at what most feel will be the Raptors starting 5 on opening night on the 28th. Why not start against one of the best in the Boston Celtics. The result was far from ideal as the Celtics won the game 106-90. Bosh had 21 but just 6 for Hedo and Andrea. Demar DeRozan had a rough shooting night going 2 for 8 but did get to the line 7 times and landed an elbow on K.G. That got me out of my chair. But what was a big concern was Reggie Evans turning his ankle. There is no update on his status but safe to say you will not see Reggie at the ACC in a uniform tonight vs the Houston Rockets.
Bosh had his longest run of the pre-season of just over 27 minutes. He struggled picking up 5 fouls on the defensive end of the court. You could see the frustration in Bosh with the calls going against him. In general with the replacement officials I have found there are far to many whistles and there is a lack of flow as a result. Let's hope for all fans of basketball that the real refs are back in time for the start of the season. If every b-ball fan could chip in a dollar to make this situation go away it would be well worth it. This situation is a regrettable one to say the least. If the true motivation of the league is to just hang tough to send a message to players, who's CBA expiration is just around the corner, then it is wrong simple as that.
I did not take away a lot from last night's debut for the starting 5. Bosh is just starting to get up to speed in terms of playing an amount of minutes close to his normal workload. Hedo is just getting started. What was a bit disappointing was Andrea Bargnani. I had mentioned that when there is no Bosh on the floor Andrea really seems to just play and play well. Bosh returns and Andrea slides into the background. Andrea needs to go get his and be an impact player with or without Bosh out there.
Happy to see a point guard getting to the hoop and drawing fouls. Jarrett Jack was given a lot of praise on the Boston broadcast. They stopped short of saying Jack may have made a nice pick up for the Celtics. No question Jack is an upgrade from Eddie House is there? It seems clear that Jack is going to be a big piece to the puzzle the only question for me is just how big. How much will we see him and Jose on the floor together. Will we see Jack in to close games for his defense? All still up for debate.
I will be interested to see how the Raps play on Sunday when they face the Celtics again. It seemed that Boston was aware that the Raptors may be the biggest challenger to them winning the Atlantic. We did see a lot of the starters for both sides last night. At times it felt a bit like a regular season game. So will see if the Raptors look better on Sunday. After all the pre-season is about improvement. A good way to measure that improvement is to face the same team. When the Raps opened the season against the Sixers you could easily see the improvement from game one to game two. But before that one they will take on a Houston Rockets team that looks a lot different as well. Yao is out for the year and Ron Artest is in L.A, while Trevor Ariza is on the team from L.A and T-Mac claims he is back. Will see I am still not taking T-Mac in my fantasy league. He is still a bad back away from being on the shelf for weeks at a time. Believe it or not we are under 2 weeks from the start of the season. The Pre-Season is flying by fast. After watching a few exhibition games of Raptors and other teams, I am glad for that fact. Pre-season basketball just doesn't do it for me. I just don't have the same level of interest in the outcome. But that all changes October 28th. Till then a few more exhibition games to endure.