It’s been a long summer, and a pretty quiet one for Toronto Raptors fans. Sure, there was the “are they or aren’t they” drama of the Kevin Drurant trade request, but otherwise, it’s been a long time since there we had any real Raptors news or updates of significance to share.
UNTIL TODAY! The Raptors are back, baby!!
Well, OK, preseason action against this shell of a Utah Jazz team might not be the most exciting thing either — but it’s Raptors basketball! It’s back on the court and on our screens and in our hearts and our minds — and it’s about damn time.
Tonight is the first of five Raptors exhibition games, and the first of the newly-reinstated “NBA Canada” series, where the Raptors play their preseason games in different Canadian cities. Tonight the action is taking place at Rogers Place in Edmonton, and the Raps will host the Boston Celtics in Montreal on October 14. (The October 9 game against Chicago Bulls will take place at in Toronto.)
I’m thrilled the Raptors are doing this again. The Detroit Pistons used to do exhibition games at Maple Leaf Gardens back in the pre-Raptors days, and I’m so grateful for that; those were the first NBA games I ever saw in person. Getting to see real live NBA action, even preseason action, when you don’t have a local team, is a real treat. So I’m glad it’s back and I hope there are folks out there tonight attending their very first NBA game, and I hope it builds their love of the sport as much as it did for me 30 years ago.
As for the rest of us — let’s watch!
Where to Watch:
Sportsnet, 6:00PM EST
Toronto – Fred VanVleet, Gary Trent Jr., Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby, Scottie Barnes
Utah – Mike Conley, Collin Sexton, Kelly Olynyk, Malik Beasley, Lauri Markkanen
Toronto — Otto Porter Jr. (hamstring – out), Justin Champagnie (right hip – out)
Utah – Udoka Azubuike (ankle surgery recovery – out)