I don't need to insult anyone's intelligence by saying that it's the first game of the preseason and we shouldn't overreact anything, so off we go.
The Raptors defeated the Clippers at Rogers Arena in Vancouver (Mike Bibby got a standing ovation, if you're keeping track) 93-73 thanks to a 37-point third quarter that opened up a 15 point lead heading into the final 12 minutes. The starters -- Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Patrick Patterson, DeMarre Carroll and Jonas Valanciunas -- all played over 20 minutes.
Lowry led all scorers with 26 points in 22 minutes, finishing 7-for-10 from the field and getting to the line 12 times (making 11 of those attempts). DeRozan, Valanciunas and Luis Scola also hit double digits in scoring. Since the offseason, we've been talking about Lowry's weight loss and now everyone's had a chance to see the new Lowry, the rest of the basketball world is buzzing about it too. A sample:
Guess we're going to have to re-grade Toronto's offseason -- upward -- if they got a new Kyle Lowry on top of DeMarre Carroll, etc.— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) October 5, 2015
Kyle Lowry is unrecognizable, talk about a physical transformation.— Haralabos Voulgaris (@haralabob) October 5, 2015
It's real EARLY and preseason, but Kyle Lowry's body transformation is fantastic. IF he and DeRozan can stay healthy, scary.. Nice backcourt— Reggie Miller (@ReggieMillerTNT) October 5, 2015
Apologies for including Reggie Miller but three tweets seemed more of a consensus than two. So, moving on.
Pre-game highlight including Blake Griffin destroying the shot clock with a dunk during warmups:
In-game highlights include Terrence Ross looking very comfortable on both ends of the floor, including this:
Whoops. Bad traveling on T Ross. Sweet jam tho. https://t.co/jLbsoRJXDs— Michael Gallagher (@MikeSGallagher) October 5, 2015
Two times for Terrence Ross, who looked amazing on both ends of the floor. Also, he did this to Jamal Crawford. https://t.co/5wLyDvnzni— Raptors Republic (@raptorsrepublic) October 5, 2015
Also, Bismack Biyombo showed off some rim protection as advertised:
As for those keeping track of Anthony Bennett's progress with the team, he did not play due to a sore shoulder. All in all, a pretty good start. What did everybody think?