You know what the hell tonight is. We’re but moments away from the Defending NBA Champion Toronto Raptors receiving those most coveted pieces of jewelry, capping off the most celebratory summer this city’s seen since ‘93.
There’s also a basketball game happening once the festivities die down. The revamped albeit Zion-less Pelicans are in town — something that Nick Nurse seems a little more concerned with than the pre-game touchy-feely stuff.
“I’m just trying to get to the tip here,” Nurse said, noting that he’d forgotten his socks and underwear at home and was concerned about whether he’d get them delivered in time for the game. “I don’t wanna be a party-pooper here but I’m looking forward the game. I wanna see this team and see where we can start to build from ... I’m most excited about a great opportunity to start a season and go from there.”
The main item of note from Nurse’s availability: Fred VanVleet will start in the back court next to Kyle Lowry, which isn’t a huge surprise after he got the call in the team’s dress rehearsal game Friday in Brooklyn.
Of all the pregame updates to pass along, the most important one is hanging above the Scotiabank Arena floor. Yeah there’s what looks to be the title banner shrouded in a cloak of mystery — that’s cool, sure. But the real news is the noted lack of half a dozen Atlantic Division title banners. Instead, they’ve been replaced by a single banner listing all the years in which the team has achieved that meager milestone. A new Eastern Conference Champions banner is hanging high as well. This franchise done changed.
Here’s the preview from this morning — and below are your updated game details.
Where to Watch
Sportsnet One, Ring Ceremony — 7pm, Tip-off — 8pm
*The Raps being on the more expensive Sportsnet One while the World Series takes up all the regular Sportsnet channels is a scam and it sucks. Down with big cable.
New Orleans — Jrue Holiday, Lonzo Ball, JJ Redick, Brandon Ingram, Derrick Favors
Toronto — Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, Pascal SIakam, Marc Gasol
New Orleans — Zion Williamson (knee — out :( ), Darius Miller (achilles — out for season)
Toronto — Patrick McCaw(knee — out), Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (groin — out)