Something special is brewing. The shortened pre-season is finally over. There were a few moments, but if we have learned anything from the NBA season preamble it’s that the players just don’t care. Immersed in an era where stars sit out regular season games, it remains challenging to take this stage seriously. Hopeful no-names run the court during fourth quarters; players who, many years from now will spin tales to their grandchildren about that game Lebron jacked a trey in their eye. They proceed to show the already disinterested kids their tattered New Orleans Pelicans team bag signed by Jrue Holiday for the umpteenth time.
This pre-season did provide us a gentle reminder of just how deep the Raptors truly are. During the finale, Pascal Siakam led the bench mob’s bench mob to a win over a decent Pelicans line-up featuring thee Drue Holiday. Siakam’s shot looks fluid, and all things point to a confident Pascal taking it to another level this year, and that is potentially the third option off the bench we’re talking about. Who knows how the rotations will unfold, but that’s enticing in and of itself. See seventeen other articles discussing Siakam’s incoming prominent role. Seriously, positivity is fun.
OG is back and looking solid on both ends. It is extremely difficult to project his ceiling due to his raw talent level, and he’s an intelligent guy to boot. He’s only going to continue to learn and grow. Just like most people, I guess. For this season, his main asset will be his defensive prowess. Timely shots with open looks, drive the lane every now and then. OG’s a team player through and through. A reliable Swiss Army Knife with multiple tools. Did he—Did he just use one of his – surprisingly large number of available – tools to file Danny Green’s toenails so Danny’s foot didn’t go over the line as he shot that three?? Sorry, OG is just so versatile.
Dominant three-point shooting will come from the silky mitts of Kyle, Danny, Kawhi, Fred and CJ. Then there’s a secondary tier of trey-makers: Serge, Delon, OG, Pascal and Norm. Look at all those options. Shooting so many threes, Devlin recycles wee town names of Nunavut. And just like a night out on the town, beer goggles in effect – it’s easy enough to shift into a sexier tier. A bit of confidence at the right time goes a long way. After enough shots even JV sneaks into the second tier every so often.
Just pick any five Raptors: Fred, OG, Pascal, Kawhi, Delon. I can get behind that rotation. Maybe it’s the team itself that is the top-shelf pocket multi-tool, after all. There are so many looks the team can offer, and the bulk of the players pull their weight on both ends of the floor. Kind of like how those tiny tools just swing out of the knife base from each and every direction. Where the heck do they fit them all? Like those impressive apparatuses, the Raptors are busting at the seams with unique abilities. Excitement is warranted. Most fans are over the DeMar trade by now. Empathy to those who still harbor ill feelings, but even those people must be succumbing to the hype at this point, right?