We're on to the Round of 16 at Las Vegas Summer League: the games matter now. Well, sort of.
It may mean absolutely nothing, but the Raptors find themselves in an uncommon place tonight; they hold the first-overall seed in the LVSL bracket thanks to a 3-0 record and some blowout wins in the preliminary round.
One of those lopsided wins came Sunday over this same Bulls squad. The two newly - signed Raptors - forward Ronald Roberts (10 points, eight rebounds) and guard Norman Powell (19 points, seven rebounds) led the charge in the 81-66 win. If there can even be "favourites" in Summer League games, the Raptors should probably have the edge tonight. Toronto boasts as many as many as five players who could be on the opening night 15-man roster, compared to just two or three for the Bulls (Doug McDermott, Bobby Portis & Cameron Bairstow).
Plus, you know, the Bulls don't have Powell.
One of the contenders for Summer League MVP (yes, another meaningless title), Powell has been superb, putting up a line of 19.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 0.7 assists and 1.7 steals on 59.5 percent shooting. He's been one of the closest things to a star player in this tournament, and a continuation of his play tonight should propel the Raptors to a Round of 8 match-up with the 8th-seeded Suns on Saturday..
Toronto's cause could also be helped by the return of first-round pick Delon Wright who missed Monday's win over the Rockets with a sore hamstring. There's been no official word yet, and he may end up sitting so as to not aggravate the injury, but his 9.5 points and 5.5 assists over two games would be nice to have back in the fold. His shooting is a question mark, but there is no denying his ability to read and dictate the action on the floor.
We've beaten the "summer league means diddly-squat" horse to death, I know. But keep in mind, once Summer League ends, there is nothing resembling Raptors basketball until late October. Cherish every moment left in this poorly-played but oddly entertaining tournament.
Tip-off: 10pm (Or whenever the game before it ends)
Where to Watch: NBA League Pass
We're stuck with another League Pass game tonight - not exactly surprising with so many games on the go today. Feel free to vent your frustrations in the comments. Although,try not to get too worked up about a Summer League game.
Enjoy the game!