It is the Home Opener a little later than originally advertised:
Kardinal Offishall will be in the house for halftime as well. Not to mention prior to the game there is going to be a tail gate party that is free for everyone tickets to the game or not at Maple Leaf Square. All this because the Raptors are of course 1-0. Well not exactly but once all the hype that goes with the home opener is finished the Raptors have a tougher task in front of them than they did in Ohio.
See the Pacers actually signed good players instead of punchlines for a TNT Segment with Charles Barkley and Shaq. On a side note Shaq is going to be huge hit on TNT. But between the trade the Pacers made with Spurs and signing David West it has made them a sexy pick to be one of the improved teams in the East.
While the Raptors were making short work of the Cavs, The Pacers were doing much the same to one of the East's other bottom feeders in Detroit. Roy Hibbert the Raptors draft choice for the Pacers as part of the J.O deal got off to a nice start to the year with 16 points and 14 rebounds. He will be a load to deal with for the Raptors tonight. Pacers had 3 players with double doubles in that win and 5 were in double figures as they beat Detroit 91-79.
Key Match-Up: Could go with Roy Hibbert vs Amir Johnson but instead let's go with Paul George and Demar DeRozan. Two young rising stars in the league doing battle at the shooting guard. DeRozan did not look his best in Cleveland till near the end of the game. Tonight he will have a legit test on both ends of the floor.
Other Things of Note: Pacers got to the line 25 times vs Detroit making 20 of those. They also shot 46.7% from beyond the 3 point line. They also feature a deadly duo of point guards with Darren Collison and George Hill. Lou formally Louis Amundson was also added to the Pacers and did not play in the opener.
Raptors are 10-6 in home openers last year snapping a streak of 4 straight wins in their home opener with a loss to the Knicks. It is hard to find any stat in Raptor history where they have a winning record but this is one of them. It is just the rest of the season that has been the problem. Those other 81 games or in the case of this season 65.
So the atmosphere should be off the hook to start. Will it be by the time this one is over becomes the big question. If the Raptors can hang with Pacers that would open a lot more eyes than beating the Cavs. But it will not be easy. Pacers look to have a very talented team that I predicted in this blog should be one of the 8 teams left standing for the playoffs in the East. Early Start time for this game of 6pm? Why that is I have no clue. But it is on once again as basketball officially has returned to Toronto.