The Toronto Raptors Summer League adventure continues tonight, as Bruno Caboclo and company face off against the 1-2 Houston Rockets. The winners will play a very talented Cleveland Cavaliers team on Friday...and will most likely lose.
As Adam has mentioned in his previous two game recaps, this Raps team just isn't very good -- they're pretty dreadful in fact. After a scrappy opening win over the Lakers, the team has lost their last two tilts by 28 and 31 points, against the Nuggets and Mavericks respectively.
The teams that have been awful in the NBA for the past couple seasons are usually able to throw out decent Summer League teams, because those organizations possess a couple very talented draft picks recently acquired (the Cavaliers, for example); and sometimes you get a solid team that has signed some savvy veterans looking for one last shot on an NBA roster. The Raps roster possess neither polished prospects, or wise old heads, and in consequence they've looked like a disorganized bunch.
That's not to say that there isn't talent on this team -- in Caboclo and Nogueira, there clearly is -- but it's raw talent, in need of a lot of nurturing, and right now it's not translating well to results on the court.
The results, as ugly as they have been lately are not important of course; for a guy like Caboclo it's about experiencing basketball at a higher level than he's used to. It'll be interesting to see how the young Brazilian bounces back from a disappointing showing against the Mavericks -- a game in which he was clearly rattled after getting posterized by C.J. Fair and in which he forced up way too many long threes.
It'll also be worth keeping an eye on whether DeAndre Daniels, who was the only Raptor to impress in the Mavericks loss, can put together back-to-back solid games.
The Houston Rockets are coming off a blow-out win against the Clippers, and although they lost two games -- both close-ish -- against the Heat and Blazers in Vegas, expect them to give the Raps a tough time tonight. Their team is led by point-guard Isaiah Canaan (pictured above), who looked great in short bursts last season, and the talented Donatas Motiejunas.
Tonight could be the end of the road for the Raps in Vegas, but it will have been a valuable learning experience, either way.