Raptors 82, Wizards 119 | Box Score | Quick Reaction | Reaction Podcast

Last night’s game was pretty a terrible, an unfit way to wrap up a much-too-long preseason. Rather than rehash the details yet again, I’ll refer you to the quick reaction and the reaction podcast. If you need more than those two pieces and the box score to ruin your Saturday morning, I recommend just watching Black Mirror, instead.

So rather than a proper recap that would amount to “Washington got an endless buffet of open shots, hit most of them, only Lucas Nogueira really played well, and then he got hurt,” I’ve compiled all of the preseason grades to get a snapshot of how each individual performed this month. It’s worth keeping in mind that the seven Quick Reactions were spread across three people (five for myself, one each for Anthony and Cam), so the grading scale may not be entirely consistent, but this should give you an idea.

Please feel free to leave your own “Preseason Grade” for each player in the comments.

(And sorry for using images – WordPress was NOT having code for tables this wide this morning.)

grades preseason-stats


  • Sarah

    Not promising when your “ready for a breakout season” starting centre scores below your “two years away from we-don’t-know-when” project. Sure hope a more motivated Jonas shows up to start the season.

    • BlakeMurphy

      Worth keeping in mind that the player grades are generally given relative to expectations/talent level, so JV has a higher bar to clear than Bruno (otherwise the grades would often just be Lowry – A, DeRozan – A-, CoJo/Pat – B+, etc, every game). But yeah, not the best preseason for JV.

      • Red Baron

        Blake, any insights/thoughts/guesses as to why Jonas has looked a bit lost out there so far this pre-season? just easing back in? trying to incorporate some aspects to his game? I wasn’t so worried about any of his actual results (normal pre-season qualifiers) but his body language has looked off to me.

        • n8

          My conservative guess is that hes gone through a lot of mental and physical fatigue this past season through the summer that hes almost never experienced before. As a result of the deep playoff run and the grueling and disappointing Olympic season, his offseason routine was probably thrown off and as a result he doesn’t feel mentally/physically ready for the season quite yet.

          My wilder guess is that it kinda looks like he lost a little weight by adjusting his diet (maybe a low carb diet) which can sometimes have the side effect of lowering energy levels and mental alertness. Remember when LeBron went on that ketogenic diet and played noticeably worse for the start of the 2014-2015 season until he “got hurt” for a few weeks then came back noticeably bulked up? I have absolutely 0 proof of this, just speculation honestly, but possible.

          • Mike$

            Jv took about a month off after the olympics. He’s just out of shape and still rusty. Not going to worry to much.

            • Coulj

              excuses, excuses!

              • Niagara_Dude

                Mike’s heart is in the right place, but JV must get it done on the court this season. No excuses or just trade him away.

                • Coulj

                  I agree Mike is a great Raps fan. Unlike some other people here, he uses numbers to back up his arguments, don’t always agree with him, but he is always informative.

                  Yes , I worry about JV too. He oviously has great hands,strength and size, but in this modern NBA to thrive you need either super athleticism or very high ball IQ(Andrew Bogut) if you have neither, your ceiling will be relatively low.

                • Red Baron

                  Agree that this has to be the year that it all comes together for JV. I’m not making excuses for him, but at least on the offensive side of the floor his development has been slowed by being a very distant 3rd or 4th option. You will see him face Drummond on Wednesday who, in my opinion, is way less accomplished than JV in terms of scoring, yet Andre will probably have 10 more fga’s than JV. On Defence though, no excuses, without Biz he now has to prove he can anchor the back end consistently. I just think it’s clear that he is a player that plays better defence when he is also touching the ball on the other end. Shouldn’t be that way but to some degree it’s human nature I think..the more involved the more engaged.

                • Raptorstand

                  Sunshine and rainbows coming out of the dark forces asses already , its the same thing for years now , don’t you get bored saying the same thing over and over . How many times seriously have you written the exact same things ? JV is fine , preseason crap , if he gets some looks he can help the team , if he doesn’t get the touches per usual he will work hard and do what is needed of him to help the team. Lets start the season before the ramping up of the stupid begin.

            • n8

              You’re probably right. The timing is kind of unfortunate though because we need him more than ever this season, especially now since Sullinger will be shelved for a little while

              • Mike$

                yeah better a slow start though than burning out before the finish line.

          • justsayin

            Sounds like you’re really grasping for something here. But yeah hopefully all he needs is to eat some poutine.

            • n8

              I 10000% am if your referring to the diet thing. But my more conservative guess of him just being mentally/physically fatigued and having his normal offseason routine thrown off by the late postseason run+ Olympics is more in line with what most of you think

          • Raptorstand

            Isnt it wonderful that Raptors Republic get new moderators and they don’t do a thing about jerk offs inciting on this site. Anyone who says anything good about JV is a fanboy, which is really a homosexual slur . Disgusting absolutely disgusting to be insulted by a negative pack of so called Rap fans that start the pile on before the season starts. Way to go Raptors Republic , just a bunch of moderators that don’t have a clue.

        • BlakeMurphy

          He took time off after the Olympics (he had never had offseason downtime since being drafted), which is probably a good thing for the long-run but has him a little behind in camp. And I wouldn’t read too much into body language – he’s got those comments for four years, it’s just how he looks. I’m sure he’ll be fine shortly.

          • Dayve_mC1

            Blake what are your thoughts on his lack of court smarts being behind the real reason he can never break out. My wife once said to me when we were at a raptors game:
            “you can just see Jonas out there thinking about what he has to do, he takes so long to respond”
            I couldn’t have said it better myself. He doesn’t react quickly enough to the game and is always a step behind. A player like that in my opinion can never become a star as it completely limits his ability to respond to double teams, and that is one of the key defining factors in taking the next step. If you can’t deal with doubles then teams can so easily eliminate your threat from the game…

            • BlakeMurphy

              I don’t know if intelligence is necessarily the root of it, and he’s improved his read & react time over the years, but I’d agree that further improvement in that regard is part of what’s standing in his way. It matters to me more on defense than offense, though – he took some nice strides as a passer last year, at least, and those shortcomings are easier to work around than slow decision in help&recover on D. This is a bit rambling, sorry.

              • Dayve_mC1

                No I I see your angle and definitely agree the defence is still the bigger issue. Needs to see the court and position for the opponents sets much better and be quicker to drop back when guards dive in. Still if he (and his large group of fan boys) want him to get more involved of offence, more shots and touches he simply has to be able to deal with double coverage much better including finding the open man and getting the ball up quicker and getting set quicker otherwise he can only be a 3rd or 4the option to keep the doubles off him

  • justsayin

    JV = H

    Head up his ass.

    • Red Baron

      I’m not sure i’d go that far, but your right he doesn’t seem right in terms of what he’s trying to do out there. Let’s hope it’s just trying to conserve energy and avoid injury and we see playoff JV arrive next week.

      • justsayin

        It’s entirely possible that playoff JV was a product of favorable match ups. He killed a rookie on the glass in the first round and had a couple decent games against a guy with an injured knee in the second round. Don’t forget that Mahinmi went off for like 20 and 10 against him. Mahinmi.

        I say head up his ass cause often he’s playing with his head up his ass. Too casual with outlet passes. Too casual with hand offs. These sideways vertical contests, getting turned around and helpless.

        I hope he puts it together this year, but I’m not expecting this 2016 playoff JV to become the norm for any length of consistency in his career.

        Maybe I’m being too harsh. He has alot of positives in his game. But I think his skills are overestimated and I think in the long run that does him a disservice. So I feel bad for him in that regard. All just my opinion…

        • Noelle

          I don’t know about projecting his career, but otherwise, yup. But cue the circle that will blame the coach for his slow progress, or lack thereof, rather than see that coach is limiting the team’s dependence on only what he’s capable of at this point.

          • Niagara_Dude

            His play has nothing to do with Casey, the guy sucked in the OLYMPICS and the fans on this site made excuse after excuse. These fans were even blaming his national coach, time to except that he may just another bust like Andrea Bargnani was.

            Enough with the excuses either he can play or just trade him away.

            • justsayin

              He played 80 games the year they self destructed and got swept by the wizards. If the same thing happens again this year then I hope he’s gone. I know there were a few other factors, but we’ve just seen what this group can do with a guy who basically only rebounds and defends at the 5 spot (Biyombo). 56 wins is no fluke.

            • Bargsgone

              gun shots!!!

          • justsayin

            Coach’s job is to put players in a position to succeed. They see what these guys are capable of behind the scenes = in practice against other players on the roster and the reps they get with the assistants. Some fans think that what they’re not seeing is JV making jump shots and schooling Magloire in the post. I doubt that’s what’s happening behind closed doors.

            I have the utmost respect for Kyle Lowry as the leader of this team. And I know that if a guy is putting in the work and showing the results in practice Lowry will make sure that guy gets an opportunity to add those contributions to what the team is doing in games.

            JV’s had a track coach, Olajawon and Sikma to mentor him and I honestly don’t see how any of these guys have had a marked effect on his game. Same chicken wing back down moves in the post. Same hesitation taking the jump shot.

            After the 2016 draft Steve Smith made a comment re Poeltl and what he brings vs JV, and said plainly that Valanciunas is not the kind of guy you can just throw it to in the post and expect him to create. I’m like THANK YOU. .

            When teams gang up on Lowry and DeRozan in the playoffs JV does great finishing over the smaller rotating defender off the pick and roll. And that’s great and very much needed. Let’s keep it that way. A narrow lane on offense. Concentrate on setting good screens, be a beast on the boards and make a living on tip ins and easy plays around the rim against smaller guys.

        • n8

          It most definitely was not this. He has played well in the past almost any time he was given a decent amount of touches, against good competition as well as bad. The playoffs stand out because when Lowry and Derozan were struggling we had no choice but to turn to JV and he delivered. He has his weaknesses, notably mobility and court awareness, but what’s been most disappointing this preseason is that even the classic Jonas stuff like soft touch around the rim and relentless offensive rebounding seemed off.

          • Dayve_mC1

            Yeah I’m sorry I’m with Noelle and Just saying. JV just isn’t that good because he has a low b-ball IQ and slow reactions to what his happening around him. If casey attempts to involve him more on offence watch how the defences adjust. Team will throw double teams at him and he won’t be able to cope because he is a poor passer with slow reactions. Watch towards the end of the Indiana series when Monta started closing him down as soon as the entry pass came. It lead to many TOs or poor shots or a pass straight back out and not to the open man. Watch the olympics. Every time he got a touch the opponents threw doubles at him and he was terrible. JV is a decent centre in the NBA. He is an effective/efficient scorer in one-vs-one against other big-men because he has good touch, some decent post moves and size and strength that is very difficult for anyone to stop. But that’s where it ends really. Below average defender, poor passer, poor B-ball IQ, slow. Its not a good fit in the modern NBA.I’m sorry but I feel 100% we let the wrong centre go. Biyombo was a better fit and would have allowed a big time move using JV (and maybe Ross) before JV’s value dropped after the olympics. Oh well…

            • Mike$

              Biz isn’t much of a modern NBA center either. Teams like golden state, atlanta and the spurs wouldn’t even be able to play him because of how bad he kills spacing. He is more of a one way player than JV. Teams look for guys that can defend and rebound like Biz but its also crucial to have a big thats a threat in the pick and roll. Every NBA offence runs a ton of pick and rolls and many plays are based off movement it creates. As good as Biz is as a screener, he’s a terrible roll man and basically a non- threat which makes him a weird fit with basically every NBA team.

              JV and Ross would have had to been traded for nothing (just draft picks) in order to get biz back. No big time move could be made while keeping biz

              • Dayve_mC1

                Absolutely disagree. Mobile, can defend multiple positions (like all of them), rim protection. Almost quintessential modern centre with floor spacers. Still caveats on offence yes, but he was quite effective in pick n roll at the end of the year, especially in the playoffs. He is improving in every aspect. Jv is pretty much stagnating in every aspect.

                Biz could easily play with golden state and I’d go as far as saying they would absolutely love him. With dray klay Steph and KD they don’t need more spacing or play making… just rim protection, rebounds, slam dunks, defence and a little p’n’r.

                We could have easily worked something to keep biz and trade Ross and jv and maybe pick or two and some contract matching for a millsap or a cousins or some other stretch 4. We Coulda resigned biz at 12-14mill per if he was the starter. Instead we took the safe boring root that could see a bit of a reset at years end if we drop off and decide to move away from lowry hefty next contract. We just needed to be a little more aggressive and take more risks. Again safe option, but I think our current upside is close to maxed out on this run with the current group of long term contracts

                • Mike$

                  You are over rating his pick and roll skills or confusing it with screening (which he does a very good job of). Yes initially he sets a hard pick. After setting the pick he is completely ignored allowing the guard to be helped on extremely hard by BIz’s man. This could be seen multiple times in a possession as the ball handler was forced to back out and reset the pick and roll. No one would guard biz because his horrid 0.322% field goal percentage when he was 3 feet from the basket. So unless he was right under the hoop he’s not worth guarding.

                  Players also didn’t trust Biz as a safety valve once doubled. Normally if a player is doubled out of the pick and roll they can give the ball to the person who set the pick. Their in great position because they are in the center of the floor with no one guarding them in a 4 on 3 situation. But players couldn’t pass the ball to Biz in this situation because of his crazy turnover rate. He averaged almost 15 turnovers per 100 possessions which is absolutely insane considering the only passing he did was dribble hand offs.

                  The offensive rating dropping 5 points with biz on the really shows how much he made the team struggle on that end of the floor. Its crazy how much it dropped considering he spent most of his time on the floor with Cory and PP (who had the highest rating on the team).

                  Biz was really bad in the pick and roll. He was just terrible on that end of the floor. Biz was really good for the team. He fit us well. But a good pnr player he is not, which would make it very hard for him to be a big piece of a team that relies on them. Guess we will see how he does in Orlando with a bigger role

                • Dayve_mC1

                  I don’t think you understood my point. How much better was he by years end? And then how much better again in the playoffs? His hands, his positioning and rolling, evening his jumper. I’m not saying there wasn’t still room for improvement ( there is still quite a bit) but he is heading in the right direction and he is SO much better than jv on defence. I don’t think magic are a great fit for biz because they don’t have shooters. Still think he’ll take over from vuce mane eventually

                • Mike$

                  Yes he’s improved but he’s still a long way off. He’s definitely not worth the money he’s making right now, but he might get there, he is improving.

                • Niagara_Dude

                  Biyombo was the king of that lockeroom last season, toughness and elite defensive plays are now gone.

                • Mike$

                  Locker room will be more than fine. Lowry, DD and co are all stand up guys

                • Niagara_Dude

                  This team will suffer because Masai kept the wrong guy and we won loads of games last season playing solid defense. I don’t see that with a very slow JV in the middle, our pick and roll defense will not be the same.

                • Coulj

                  You are absolutely right. Our defense was a joke the year before BB arrived, and it will suffer again. Biyambo’s toughness had an impact on the rest of the team.

                • Mike$

                  But our defence was even better 2 years ago than when we had biz. It fell off hard because of Lou and GV. We didn’t need biz to be a great defensive team before, its possible to do it again

                • Coulj

                  we got swept in the playoffs by Washington because Klow and DD couldn’t guard Beal and Wall. Lou and GV are bad defenders but they were not responsible Gortat having his way in the paint. You need toughness, strong defensive play and rebounding in the playoffs, we will miss BB!

                • Mike$

                  2013/2014 was the Nets season. And our teams defence was better than it was last year.

                  Yeah like Biz was a fantastic defender but he played like 22 minutes a game. One guy that played less than half a game cannot be entirely responsible for our teams defence. Thats why in 2013/2014 when Ross, DD, Lowry and JV all played significantly more minutes we still had a very strong defence. Those guys just need to step up and play like they did a few years ago and even though we’ll still miss biz, it won’t be nearly as bad as people think.

              • justsayin

                While I agree that it was basically impossible/stupid to make the necessary moves to have a chance at signing Biz, I can’t agree about him being unplayable on the teams you mentioned. Zsa Zsa. Festus. Boban. Banes a year ago. Etc etc.

                • Mike$

                  Ah sorry, to clarify i ment start and play big minutes. Yes he could be a bench / role player on all teams but its tough to play him big minutes because he suffocates an offence. Both Zsa Zsa and festus are better than biz offensively, Boban played under 10 minutes a game, most of it in garbage time.

                  People seem to forget just how bad biz was offensively. I can’t think of any player on a top team as bad as him offensively to play a major role

                • justsayin

                  Tristan Thompson.

                • Mike$

                  Again Tristan Thompson is quite a bit better offensively. Shoots almost 5% better from the field and TT is much better from the paint. BB only hit 33% of his shots from 3 to 9 feet away from the hoop. Shooting 33% from just outside the restricted zone is very poor. If BB wasn’t dunking the ball he was usually a miss, even from 3 feet away.

                  TT shot over 40% in that same area and actually had to be guarding when he wasn’t directly under the hoop. Then looking at turn over percentage its not even close with BB turning it over 5.5% more. Advanced stats really favor TT aswell. TT had an OBPM of 0.2 where biz was a negative 2.4. TT is also over double his offensive win shares.

                  Even rebounding, what biz was best at offensively he was outshone by TT. Tritan Thompson isn’t very good on the offensive end, but he was much better than Biz, not even close really.

                • justsayin

                  I think you’re trying too hard. By no means is Thompson out there to provide offense and neither is Biz. Neither is Ezili. Etc. Whatever they do on that side of the ball is gravy. Just be a lob target and finish strong around the rim. Not saying that the raptors won’t be better offensively without him. But when you make the trade off how does that affect the win total? That’s the most important question here.

                • Mike$

                  I know those guys aren’t there to provide offence, but they definitely don’t bog it down the same way Biz does.

                  I do think we are a worse team without him. He was a big part of our fantastic bench unit. At first I was more commenting about the guy who said we should have traded JV and Ross to use most of the space created to sign Biz, because JV isn’t a modern center.

                  I agree with our team being worse for losing biz. I just disagree with him being a modern center, or that the team would have been better off shipping JV for no renturning salary to sign Biz

                • justsayin

                  fair enough

              • Coulj

                you are wrong! BB is a great defender. In the modern NBA you can always use a big who is athletic, can run the floor ,rebound , block shots.
                BB intimidates when guys are driving, when they see JV ,they drive at will and score lay ups! As Dayve wrote he is a decent centre , that’s all he will be.

                • Mike$

                  Yes BB is a fantastic defender. That doesn’t make him a modern 5 though. As a high energy guy though he’s more of a bench player.

            • Niagara_Dude

              Without question we are all seeing that JV is just not good enough and i only wished he was the free agent available during the offseason, the guy is very limited and we are now seeing his performance in the Olympics was not a fluke.

              I just hope Masai does not repeat what BC did with Andrea Bargnani and wait too long, if you don see “it” into your 5th season then don’t expect things to change. I cannot see Casey who just signed an extension putting up with piss poor defensive rim protection.

              • Mike$

                JV is an already proven NBA player being paid for less than he’s worth. Might not ever be much better than now but he’s definitely not a Bargs.

                • Niagara_Dude

                  Not really, i just don’t see it.

  • Red Baron

    I’m not sure that you can really read anything into pre-season results good or bad. Some guys are playing like they have something to prove, some are just trying to get in some reps without getting hurt. The only thing that matters is what we see on Wednesday. I’m just hoping our newly re-signed leader (Demar) gets others involved in game 1 and not try to put up 30 FGA’s on his own. An almost 40% usage rate is eye-popping (but again, just pre-season).

    • BlakeMurphy

      Yeah, of course, this all has to be taken with a grain of salt. It matters a lot more for guys in competitions (Nogueira/Poeltl, Ross/Powell, VanVleet/Crawford/Heslip) though, because qualifiers or otherwise, they’re going to dictate how they open the season.

    • n8

      Yeah good point. I’m not too worried about Demar, it’s his job to be a scorer and it looks like he’s ready to do that this season. It’s also nice to see that his efficiency improvements seem to have carried over into this season. Demar is ready.
      On the macro though, I’ve always found it fascinating that Derozan can play extremely well in the midst of a blowout, yet if Lowry plays well then so does the rest of the team.

      • Sinbad

        Its a stark contrast. Lowry can drag the competitiveness out of everyone and get them all on the same page through sheer effort. With DeRozan, there’s a lot of standing and watching when he’s doing his thing, especially if he’s drawing fouls at anywhere near the rate he did last night. He’s good at being “a guy” but he can’t be “the guy” like Lowry can.

        • Coulj

          If you haven’t heard or read the comments on the Raps NBA TV by Chris Webber and Steve Smith, go watch it , you ‘ll find them interesting.

          • Sinbad

            I’ve heard them. As much as those comments stung to hear, they’re true.

  • justsayin

    I thought Joseph was phenomenal in the pre season. He did the usual with his defense and driving to the hoop but also shot extremely well.

    Ross was also impressive. I’m surprised that slimming down was an answer for him cause I thought that some bulk would’ve helped him defensively, but he definitely looks faster. His confidence is clearly at an all time high as well. If he plays with any type of consistency that’ll be a huge plus for this team. Or even if he just establishes a new high for his peak performance averages. This team really needs their bench to be a net positive in order to stay near the top of the conference.

    A few guys are just way more efficient when they’re given a narrow lane offensively = JV, Carroll, Powell. You could add Bruno to that list but for now who cares. I do expect a learning curve for Powell that eventually evens out, but I can’t be convinced that JV or Carroll have unmined talent that warrants greater opportunity. And JV’s spot up shooting is never gonna improve until he learns to just catch it and shoot it. You know where your man is when the pass is coming to you. You know where you are in the court. You know what your teammates are doing. Or do you???

    Bebe was as good as you might expect and until the injury I don’t think there was anything there do think that he wouldn’t be a competent back up this year. I was as little surprised by that.

    I honestly don’t think Patterson can be a consistent shooter shooting the ball from the side of his head. I don’t think anybody can be consistent shooting that way.

    I don’t care who gets the 15th spot. But good for them whoever gets it.

    I can totally see Poeltl being an effective player down the road. Not exactly a stand out performance in the pre season but you can see that the talent is there. Great quickness for a guy who’s 7’1″. Very good awareness. And he can do a little bit of everything. Just a little gun shy and under developed physically.

    Siakam got alot of rookie whistles which is a frustrating thing about the NBA. But for the most part he was great defensively. If he ever learns how to shoot…

    • n8

      Oh God nail on the head with the Siakam rookie whistles. I’m pretty confident he will develop a good jumper because his mechanics are pretty sound it’s just his touch thats inconsistent and that will have to come with increased reps, he’s only played ball for a short amount of time.

  • aaron franklin

    The biggest concern for the raptors this year will be figuring out there defense. Last year they were good on defense for two reasons they could adjust there defense in games to match what the opponent was doing on offense. This year they haven’t figured out what defensive line up works against different type of offensive systems. So last night the raps could never adjust there defense to the wizard’s pick and roll spread offense. Their defensive rotations were late or non existent, there defensive spacing was terrible, there pick and roll coverage was awful, they couldn’t control penetration, there close-out were opening lanes straight to the basket. It was pure defensive ugliness and reminded me of the end of the 2015 season. A little worried without the defensive assistant from last year that the Raptors won’t be able to adjust there defense properly to teams like the Wizards.

    • Dayve_mC1

      “Last year they were good on defense for two reasons”

      I say one reason – Bismack Biyombo. I can’t stress how much we’re going to miss him

      • raptorfan07

        Agreed , the current guy sucks bad and we are going to get killed on P & R this season just like we did 2 season ago when Biyombo was not here. I am sure we will here its the guards fault…. just like two seasons ago.

      • SaiyanTMac

        I’m sorry but as great as Bismack was for us last year, you don’t rank 5th in defensive efficiency because of one guy who played less than half the game. Our defense will almost certainly slip, but Bismack wasn’t the only reason our defense was strong.

        • Dayve_mC1

          Obviously I’m being a life facetious. there were clearly other reasons. Cojo 2pat normie lowry. My point was simply biz was a huge part of that especially the interior d. We’re gonna miss that real bad. Big ask for siakam to fill those shoes but he might have to

      • Mike$

        Our defense was even better in 2013/2014 than it was last year, and its still the same core. One guy that plays less than half a game isn’t the reason our defence was good. He helped a lot but guys like Cory and PP also had a huge impact defensively

  • LogicalSense

    What are your thoughts on what Siakam can bring to the table for the season? Looks like he has very good foot speed and a high motor. I feel like his style of play doesn’t match his hair style right now, grinders like him usually go with the dreadlock look.

    • Dayve_mC1

      lol…
      this guy is great. And for everything people say about his lack of range his jump shot is mechanically really nice. Like someone else here says more reps and adjustment to the NBA game and I think we could have a real player on our hands. Defensively he is already making the right moves and positionings. I really like what I see with this guy. Looking forward to seeing his development

      • LogicalSense

        Yeah he is basically the next Kenneth Farried. Except he will have a jumper instead of dreads.

        • Henry Swagson

          And play defence unlike Faried.

    • Hotshot

      Lets not forget Siakam is still wet behind the ears. If he gets the start he is going to pick up silly fouls early on and sometimes will force things on the offensive side so expect a mix bag performances early on. However I do believe he will iron them out towards the end ofthe season.

      • LogicalSense

        I like your mindset, sounds like well tempered expectations.

        • KW

          I think the best case scenario for this season would be Bebe solidifying himself as a reliable defender and rebounder as the 4th big. Siakam could maybe play 7 minutes a night behind him.

    • Plenty of Wing Span

      Not enough muscle, but he’s going to grab everyone’s cookie jar without shame

  • raptortruther

    I love /36-minute stats. Brady Leads the preseason all-stars!

  • justsayin

    Too bad we didn’t see much of Sullinger. Hard to know what this team is gonna play like without seeing their starting PF and likely back up centre play with the regulars.

  • RaptorFanM

    Agree, Joseph really showed well in the pre-season, the guy’s a gamer. JV’s struggles have been well documented. Siakim and Poetl has upside and will struggle like any rookie but hopefully grow and improve. DeRozan — has he learned how distribute the ball? Time will tell? Lowry – can he maintain shooting consistency especially in the playoffs? Patterson and Ross — can they provide the outside shooting desperately needed? i have a little more faith in Ross, but Patterson looks like he lost his confidence in this 3 pt shot. Bebe ? i don’t know, Bruno – fugget about it. Lots of positive karma needs to happen, but Casey is right — the hardest working team, and defensive toughness give you a great chance of winning most of the time. In the absence of game changing superstar — they’ll need 8 or 9 guys playing good unselfish basketball.