Finally, it’s here. I don’t know about you guys, but it felt like this season just couldn’t get here soon enough. After going through all of the TJ/Jose garbage last season, enduring Bosh’s YouTube videos, trying to figure out what was bothering Andrea and then getting knocked out by the Magic, it just felt like there were a lot of moving parts last season that weren’t fully secured. It always felt like the Raptors were one episode away from completely falling apart.
So now that the new season is here, the Raptors can look forward to putting a new face on. The TJ/Jose situation has been taken care of, with Jose (rightfully) winning the day. Bosh has returned with a renewed sense of energy and dedication. Andrea doesn’t have to worry about any pressure since JO has been brought in and in addition to that, the Raptors now think they have enough pieces to get past the first round in the playoffs. But then the question becomes, “Are you just happy with getting out of the first round of the playoffs?”
Since I just went through some overviews of both of these teams, I’m not really going to go into detail about how they match up against each other and at this point in the season (first game), you will probably see a lot of sloppy play anyway. The good thing for the Raptors is that they get to face the Sixers right at the start of the season and this is supposedly the team that is going to finish ahead of them in the standings. There is a chance that this could happen, the Sixers do have some good pieces, but for the Raptors, it would be a good way to get themselves in the proper mental state for the season. There’s nothing better than starting things off with a team that many people are predicting to finish ahead of you, even though it may be the first game of the season.
Here are tonight’s 3 in the Key:
Key 1: The Raptors are not deep at PG, so it will be key for Sam Mitchell to watch Jose’s minutes at the start of the season. You don’t want to throw him into the fire and get him up in the 40 minute range right at the start of the season, especially when he had some groin issues during the Olympics. Jose is going to need to be a stud for the Raptors all season, so managing his time will be essential.
Key 2: JO and Bosh need to get their touches on offense so the Raptors can establish how they are going to operate down low. Forget the pre-season, those games didn’t matter and the level of intensity just isn’t there. This is the opportunity for the Raptors to let the league know that Bosh and JO are going to be a formidable force.
Key 3: Bosh and JO are going to have to work hard on the boards, creating scoring opportunities, but also boxing out and creating some better chances for defensive rebounds. If the Sixers get going on the boards early, it could be a long night for the Raps.
Enjoy the game…and heads up on the early start. 6:00!!!