With the regular season opener on the horizon, the Toronto Raptors took to Casino Rama to provide some local fans with a closer look at this season's team.
Fans in attendance--which on this date, included myself--were treated to an intra squad scrimmage between team white--comprised entirely of reserves--and team black--comprised almost entirely of starters. Although, the occasional player would change teams.
Somewhat surprisingly, the game was actually pretty competitive. Both teams competed hard and both conceded very few easy buckets. This was due in part to having the coaching staff shouting at them consistently throughout the contest.
highlights of the game included:
- Some smooth shooting early from Andrea Bargnani (Followed by seriously rough shooting)
- Kyle Lowry and John Lucas III going at it on both ends of the floor. Those two guys are going to set the tone for this team with their hard work day in and day out.
- Kyle Lowry hitting what seemed like every three-point attempt he took, including an impressive string of several in a row.
- Terrence Ross with not one-but two huge dunks.
- The White team actually leading most of the way--Alan Anderson and Terrence Ross' hot shooting were big reasons why--and then almost losing after the Black team mounted a furious comeback.
- Lot's and lot's of dancing. Standouts include Kyle Lowry and Alan Anderson who were caught doing the Gagnam Style dance courtside during the game.
- Finally, the star of the day may have actually been the Raptor as his usual schtick went over extremely well with the crowd. Keep in mind the crowd was, let's say, a little more seasoned than your average crowd at a Raptors game.
Late in the game, though things got a little scary for the Raptors as both Jose Calderon and John Lucas III went down with what at the time appeared to be serious knee injuries.
Thankfully, neither were seriously injured and returned to practice on Monday, but it is situations such as that which lead to these types of events being called into question. Granted, these injuries could happen at anytime, but with the Raptors already playing one open intra squad game--in Halifax--this game wasn't the most necessary of exercises .
But all in all, it was a positive event. It allowed for fans of another area of Ontario to see the Raptors up close, and potentially allowed for the team to receive some extra exposure.
Now onto games that final matter!