Events continue apace down in the basketball desert of Las Vegas. The Raptors are 2-0 and, quite frankly, have looked like something of a juggernaut. Does this mean anything in the broader NBA picture? Well, no, probably not. Summer League is not quite the place where star players are made. In truth, the MVP and eventual title winner are not always indicative of future success. (Note: the Sacramento Kings were champions last year, with Glen Rice Jr. taking the League MVP. There's your grain of salt.)
I think what I'm trying to say is that a Raptors team winning three in a row in Vegas is nice only in isolation. It means the team's players are clicking, the (very) marginal NBA prospects are playing well, and the expected "stars" are doing what they are supposed to do. If you're the 16th pick in the NBA Draft, like Lucas Nogueira, you should be casually better than the dudes just trying to hang in for a spot on a D-League team.
The Raptors tip-off tonight against an undefeated Houston Rockets team that is succeeding despite a raft of injuries to its latest crop of prospects. There has been no time for Sam Dekker (the 18th pick), one game for Montrezl Harrell (32nd pick), and the Rockets' own Bruno-esque talent, Clint Capela (25th pick) hasn't seen the floor. They do have the reigning MVP though--the aforementioned Rice--so there's that.
As always, this all adds up to a lot of question marks. What is Houston finding out about their team? What does Toronto get out of this game?
The Raptors have to be impressed by 46th pick Norman Powell, they have to be encouraged by the growth of Caboclo, they have to love the poise of Delon Wright. How will any of this translate to the NBA? Where will these players end up? All they can do is keep playing. From here, and in the future, 3-0 may not mean a whole hell of a lot. But in Vegas, even in isolation, the winning has to feel good.
UPDATE - Where to Watch: NBA League Pass (?)
We've been getting conflicting reports regarding where the Raptors game will actually be available. It appears now this will be a League Pass only game.