The Raptors season starts in five sleeps. Many can take solace in this fact, especially if they watched tonight’s game, where the Raptors got beat up by the Washington Wizards, losing 119-82.
Getting off to a blistering start, the Wizards made 14 of their first 17 shots from the field, taking a 39-23 lead after just a quarter.
The only Raptor making much noise was DeMar DeRozan, who went to the line 12 times (10 of those in the first frame) and finished with 34 points. Nobody else for Toronto got into double digits.
This one-man show was offset by the definition of balance, as all five Wizards starters finished between 15 and 19 points. Bradley Beal and Markieff Morris were on the high end of that, while John Wall had 15 points and 11 assists for the double-double.
In the “impact news” department, the Raptors lost Lucas Nogueira in the first half to an ankle sprain. Our sweet Bebe did not return, and with just five days until the regular season, the injury may throw the Raptors bench into flux. Look for more Pascal Siakam if Bebe and a still-injured Jared Sullinger miss games, as reports would suggest. The rookie started tonight, finishing with seven points and four boards, and may start again in the very near future.
After contradicting news earlier in the day, Terrence Ross did end up playing, but only for 10 minutes. Just three points for the Boss. Kyle Lowry was also quiet, missing all four of his three-point attempts quite badly, all while dogging it on defense. Jonas Valanciunas looked slow too, with just five points and four boards in 22 minutes (kind of inexcusable, even in the preseason).
And that’s it. The preseason ends: not with a bang, but with a whimper. A handful of nagging injuries to Ross, Sullinger, Bebe, and (to a lesser extent) Carroll, coupled perhaps with Cory Joseph’s flu, will carry into the season, leaving us with more questions raised than answered. Hopefully the team gets a bit of an opportunity to rest, which is a strange thing to say in late October.
If anything, the Raptors preseason has been case and point for why the NBA needs to shorten this thing up. A tune-up is necessary, but eight games is a drag, especially when it’s spread into such an odd schedule.
On that note, we shuffle on to the regular season. Get... hyped, I guess.