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Old 10-29-2012, 04:45 AM   #1 (permalink)
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First 8 - Setting the Pace

Tip off is just around the corner!!

We're probably not active enough to have specific game threads, so we'll have sets of '8' throughout the season.

Up first:

October
Wed 31 vs Indiana Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON 7:00 PM

November
Sat 3 @ Brooklyn Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY 7:30 PM Sportsnet
Sun 4 vs Minnesota Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON 6:00 PM NBATV
Tue 6 @ Oklahoma City Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK 8:00 PM
Wed 7 @ Dallas American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX 8:30 PM
Sat 10 vs Philadelphia Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON 7:00 PM
Mon 12 vs Utah Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON 7:00 PM NBATV
Tue 13 @ Indiana Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN 7:00 PM


That's a tough, tough opening schedule. Last year, I would have expected us to lose pretty much every game. This year, I think we can pull out of this nearing the .500 mark. If we can break even, that's going to fill this team with confidence and we'll realise we've moved out of the lower echelons of the league and hopefully beat up on those teams when we meet them.

I'll be watching as many of these as I can, I am stoked to see the new look team and follow Valanciunas as he plays his first NBA games.

How does everyone else see the season starting?
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Old 10-29-2012, 06:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: First 8 - Setting the Pace

I need to pick one or two of these 8 to watch with my busy early season viewing schedule. I'm kind of disappointed in the schedule because I usually can count on Toronto having an early weekend game scheduled. I think I will watch the Philly game and also possibly the Brooklyn game in this slate.
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Old 10-29-2012, 07:37 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: First 8 - Setting the Pace

I'll watch all of these games, and about 98% of the games this season. I agree, it's a tough opening schedule. They have to start off good right off the bat. If they can beat the Pacers, Nets and Timberwolves then that will give them a lot of confidence. I doubt they beat the Thunder and the Mavs will be tough even though they don't have Dirk. They're still a solid team with some good players.

They can easily go 5-3 during the first eight games, but they could easily go 3-5, too.

None the less, I'm really looking forward to the Raptors season.
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Old 10-29-2012, 01:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: First 8 - Setting the Pace

Looks like I'll be taping the first game ... but after that I should be catching all of them. Tough opening schedule to be sure .. but how much have the other teams improved their rosters over the summer in comparison? I do see tough battles with Indy, Dallas, Oklahoma but the Nets, Philly, Wolves and Jazz are all teams we should compete against. We were 'ok' against those guys last year and we've really cranked it up a notch since then. So I'm expecting wins here. How many times did we lose by less than 8 points last year? ... With Lowry now on our side and having shown that he can take the lead in those final stretches of the game... losing by 8 should now be winning by 4!!!

We'll see what happens... cause the waiting's over kids ;-) !!
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Old 10-30-2012, 01:34 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: First 8 - Setting the Pace

Ha at the pic of Val. Great news on the starting confirmation (especially for my fantasy squad).

http://sports.nationalpost.com/2012/...-starting-job/

Quote:
“As a matter of fact, he’s earned it,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. “He’s a guy who is talented. Does he make mistakes? Yes, as most rookies do. His upside is huge. It’s also time to give him a taste of how the game is played, how guys like Hibbert, guys like [Brooklyn’s Brook] Lopez [play]. He’s our future. He’s our foundation in the middle. So, why not now? Our other guys are mature enough and professional enough to understand it.”
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Old 10-30-2012, 05:50 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: First 8 - Setting the Pace

That article was probably exaggeration when it called Amir and Gray "viable options" to start. I fear that he won his starting job more because of the potential for him to bring culture change than for his actual ability to make the Raptors better early this season.
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Old 10-30-2012, 05:55 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: First 8 - Setting the Pace

^ So you don't think he's the best C to start the season?
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Re: First 8 - Setting the Pace

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^ So you don't think he's the best C to start the season?
I guess we'll see. I don't want to bad mouth the kid too much this early. I just know I was concerned by what I saw from him this summer.
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Old 10-30-2012, 05:59 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: First 8 - Setting the Pace

The Olympics? Oh man, don't be concerned. If you haven't been watching preseason, you're in for a treat tomorrow night when it comes to Val.
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Re: First 8 - Setting the Pace

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The Olympics? Oh man, don't be concerned. If you haven't been watching preseason, you're in for a treat tomorrow night when it comes to Val.
I haven't seen any preseason Raptors ball this year. How was his footwork? I'm particularly concerned that he will get called for traveling a lot early this season.
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Old 10-30-2012, 06:07 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: First 8 - Setting the Pace

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I haven't seen any preseason Raptors ball this year. How was his footwork? I'm particularly concerned that he will get called for traveling a lot early this season.
His footwork is really impressive. I didn't see him called for traveling once all preseason and I watched most games.

Going against Hibbert opening night is going to be tough, but JV is a fighter and I really expect him to perform well, especially given his speed advantage.
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Old 10-30-2012, 06:17 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: First 8 - Setting the Pace

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His footwork is really impressive. I didn't see him called for traveling once all preseason and I watched most games.
Maybe it was just the quick whistle in the international game.

Was he able to box out consistently in the preseason or were guys getting around him/going over him to get boards?
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Old 10-30-2012, 06:23 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: First 8 - Setting the Pace

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Maybe it was just the quick whistle in the international game.

Was he able to box out consistently in the preseason or were guys getting around him/going over him to get boards?
Oh boy, you really need to watch the game tomorrow night.
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Old 10-30-2012, 06:28 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: First 8 - Setting the Pace

I don't think I can find a way to fit it in to my loaded viewing schedule tomorrow night, but I fully plan on watching Saturday's game.
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Old 10-30-2012, 07:14 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: First 8 - Setting the Pace

Jonas is a much better option at Center then Gray or Johnson. Jonas reminded me of Bargnani during the preseason when he first started. Showed some great foot work and understanding of where to be. I think that Jonas is more advance at this point of his career than Andrea was at his age.

The only concern that I have for him tomorrow is that he'll get in early foul trouble and be glued to the bench for most of the first half. If he can stay out of that type of trouble then I believe he'll do just fine in his first NBA Regular Season game.
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