The Toronto Raptors are now 2-1 in pre-season play, with 4 pre-season games left in preparation for the regular season (which tips off on October 31st): vs. Wizards, vs. Knicks (in Montreal), vs. Bucks, and at Grizzlies. Kyle Lowry has yet to appear in pre-season play as he and the team continue to be cautious with his leg injury (strained adductor muscle -- groin -- in his left leg). Based on the initial report he was only to miss the first 3 pre-season games, so it appears that he could suit up to face the Wizards on Wednesday night at the ACC.
Coach Dwane Casey has been putting the team through their paces all the way through Training Camp and so far in the pre-season. Up to and including the last game (the win vs. the Pistons on Friday night in their ACC), the team hadn't had a day off since Training Camp & pre-season play began. Jonas Valanciunas got his first NBA start in that game and certainly didn't disappoint. He was extremely active on the floor in his 29 minutes of play, putting up 11 points (including 3-3 from the free throw line - and a NICE free throw stroke I might add!) and 8 rebounds. There will undoubtedly be 'peaks & valleys' and adjustment periods for Jonas this season, but there are many attributes in his game that will make things easier for his teammates simply from his hustle and activity on both ends of the floor. If you haven't seen him play yet, don't miss your next opportunity - whether on TV or in person.
Also this past week, an incredible teaser for the new show 'Open Gym' was released. The show will be an all access look at the Raptors for the 2012-13 season. Episode one premieres Oct. 30th on NBA TV Canada and follows the team at their Training Camp in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Major shouts to Jeff Landicho, NBA TV Canada, and the Toronto Raptors! Having been a small part of the media coverage the Raptors received during 2012 Training Camp I'm very anxious to see a lot of the footage & behind the scenes access that we didn't witness, and also what we did - but through a professional lense. I can't wait to see it, the production looks outstanding - as all of NBA TV Canada's specials/documentaries do!
In the past, we've done occassional posts called 'Raptors Links You May Have Missed', we're going to continue to provide various links from across Raptors Nation, but we're going with a new name for this season and we're calling them 'Raptors Shots'. Here's our first installment:
-The Toronto Raptors 'First Day Back to School' (video) (Payal Doshi)
-Raptors First Impressions (video) (Sportsnet.ca - Kacie Hollins)
-Get To Know A Raptor: Ed Davis (National Post - Eric Koreen)
-Jones on Raptors: True value of Valanciunas (Sportsnet.ca - Paul Jones)
-HoopHeadsNorth.com & HipHoopJunkies.com Halifax Training Camp recap (video)
-Raptors Dance Pak Visits Halifax (video)
-Fashion Talk On Marketing Day (video) (NBA TV Canada/Raptors.com - Akil Augustine)