If you’re reading this from somewhere in North America right now, the sun is not yet up — but the Raptors are indeed ready to take the court. Yes, Toronto’s first ever title defense gets underway this morning with an early morning game against the Houston Rockets in Tokyo, Japan. The game doesn’t really count, but the good feelings sure do. (The feeling beyond just pure exhaustion, I mean.)
There’s not much more to expound on here — it’s a preseason game, the Raptors and Rockets are playing today and on Thursday in Saitama Super Arena, and we don’t quite know yet what either team will look like once they take the court. That’s part of the fun, of course, even if preseason games eventually become slogs to the finish line. We have a reason to be up though: the Raptors are the defending champs (and I just drank a large cup of espresso). Now, let’s watch.
Here are my longer thoughts from last night on Raptors-Rockets (and more) and below are the details for this morning’s game.
Where to Watch
6am EST on Sportsnet
Toronto - Fred VanVleet, Norman Powell, OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam, Serge Ibaka
Houston - Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Eric Gordon, P.J. Tucker, Clint Capela
Toronto - Kyle Lowry (out – thumb/rest), Marc Gasol (out – rest)
Houston - Anthony Bennett (out – knee), Tyson Chandler (out – rest), Michael Frazier (out – ankle), Gerald Green (questionable – cervical strain), Danuel House Jr. (out – leg laceration), Nenê (out – adductor)