RAPTORS PRESEASON SCHEDULE
October 12, 2005 - VS Utah Jazz
The Raptors' preseason schedule kicks off tonight against the Utah Jazz. The Raptors then play 7 other pre-season games including one versus Maccabi Tel Aviv before tipping of the 2005-06 season against the Washington Wizards on November 2nd. Raptorshq will be in attendance for the preseason opener tonight and will have a full report on the game for tomorrow. Of note in this game, we'll get to see how the battle begins to play out for the third string point guard position. Here's hoping that Corey "Murder" Williams forces ex Raptor and new Utah guard Milt Palacio into a few of his classic baseball pass layups...
October 14, 2005 - VS Boston Celtics
In what may be a battle of the league's two youngest up and coming squads in a few years time, the Raptors travel to Boston to take on the Celtics. Lots of questions surrounding the Celtics this year. Can the rookies come through and develop quickly? Is Al Jefferson the next superstar power player? Will Paul Pierce make it through the year with this squad? And will Mark Blount stop staring at the cheerleaders from the bench for more then 3 minutes?
October 16, 2005 - VS Maccabi Tel Aviv
How pumped is Jose Calderon for this game? Maccabi comes to town on this weekend for a game vs. the Raps showcasing one of the Euroleague's premier clubs.
October 19, 2005 - VS New Jersey Nets
While it's still only the preseason, this game might get rowdy. There'll be no love lost in this match as Vince makes his second return to Toronto since the infamous trade almost a year ago...and he brings another Toronto favourite with him...Lamond Murray.
October 21, 2005 - VS Boston Celtics
This time the Celtics drop by the ACC and while the venue has changed the questions remain...why is Mark Blount still staring? The cheerleaders aren't even on the court yet!
October 23, 2005 - VS Cleveland Cavaliers
Are we playing only teams who we've made trades with? Is that the rule in preseason? Well, regardless, the Raptors drop by to visit Lebron James and his new ex-Raptor teammate Donyell Marshall. The Cavs are expected to be a top four challenger in the Eastern Conference this year considering their offseason moves. Rumour has it that the next step in Danny Ferry's masterplan for title contention includes using the excess hair in Anderson Varajeo's fro to help create a Master GM Pat Riley combover for himself.
October 24, 26, 2005 VS Portland Trailblazers
Back to back vs. the Jailblazers? Can we even call them that anymore? Most of this team would be protected under the young offenders act if they were Canadian. In any event these final two games prove that the NBA is either attempting to a) Get the league's youngest teams to play each other to death in the preseason (see Boston and Portland both twice) or b) dissuade any of the Blazers from persuing careers in the NBA by having them play the Raptors in WINNIPEG in late October...oh well...can't complain too much about getting back to back matchups of Hoffa vs. Ha I guess...
Looking at their schedule I think the Raptors will go 4-4 in pre-season beating the Celtics and Blazers each once, beating Utah in the opener tonight and beating Maccabi thanks to 30 points from Calderon. Most importantly though, I'd like to see the rookies get a lot of playing time and see how Mike James and Calderon run Sam Mitchell's offence. These players will be big pieces to the puzzle this year and it's imperative that they use this preseason playing time to prepare for the 82 game grind that is to follow.
- NOTE - Some of you have e-mailed us asking if tonight's game will be televised in any capacity. Unfortunately it does not appear that this will be the case and looks like the first televised preseason game will be this Sunday vs. Maccabi on Raptors TV. As a result, we'll try recap Charlie V's tomahawk on Carlos Boozer's head, frame by frame for you on the site tomorrow...