The Score's Holly MacKenzie has notes and quotes from yesterday's Raptors practice, including confirmation that coach Jay Triano's starting five will be the same as the preseason: Bosh/Bargnani/Turkoglu/Calderon/DeRozan.
The start of the 2009-10 NBA season will mark 83 international players from 36 countries and territories on official rosters (active and inactive), matching the record of international players on opening night rosters (2006-07). Twenty-seven of the 30 teams have at least one international player. And you might be surprised to learn that the Milwaukee Bucks roster features the most international players with seven.
According to Dave Berri's Wages of Wins Journal, Toronto, Charlotte, Detroit, Miami, Indiana, Milwaukee and Philadelphia each have a team that could win between 30 and 40 games (and some might push over 40 while others will fall a bit short of 30). From this list of seven teams, he expects three will fill in the lower seeds in the Eastern Conference playoffs (and lose in the first round).
The Globe and Mail's Michael Grange confirms that the Raptors have joined the growing trend of teams using advanced statistics to gain an edge. Grange also chats with former Raptor Anthony Parker, provides an audio version of his From Deep blog, and details why the pressure is on the franchise heading into its 15th season.
The Wall Street Journal takes a look at the creative ways NBA teams are looking to control spending and save money in a slouching economy. Personally, I don't mind seeing teams chopping expensive halftime entertainment, if it means never having to sit through another performance by Acrobazia.
Check out this Flickr set of NBA court designs for the 2009-10 season.
The Score's Court Surfing crew -- Scott Carefoot, Holly MacKenzie, Tas Melas and Joe Casciaro -- provide their predictions for the 2009-10 season.
The Toronto Star's Doug Smith compiled a list of 15 memorable Raptors. Strangely, Mengke Bateer and Vincenzo Esposito made the list while guys like Antonio Davis, Muggsy Bogues, Doug Christie and Dee Brown did not. Mike James is also terribly hurt by his exclusion.
Raptors play-by-play man Matt Devlin adds his commentary to Eric Smith's end-of-the-season awards predictions. Also, Raptors assistant coach Micah Nori joins Smith and Jack Armstrong on The Game Plan to talk about the upcoming season, how a team with so many new players are gelling and what to expect from rookie Demar DeRozan.
SI.com's Britt Robson thinks general manager Bryan Colangelo's United Nations approach to team-building is overrated.