Shooting guard is the only position where the starter at this point is undetermined. There's been talk that rookie DeMar DeRozan will get the assignment because he's a lottery pick and that no one else has really grabbed the bull by the horns. But Wright, a four-year NBA veteran, has been hurt for most of the pre-season (sore right knee) and now a battle royale for the starter's job is expected leading up to the Raptors' regular season opener on Oct. 28 — with the amiable Wright leading the charge and kicking the rookie's derriere in practice.
Even if he remains as a backup, it's not as if Wright won't have a major impact on whomever starts. He'll have days of practice to make sure DeRozan and Sonny Weems, another young guy looking for minutes, know they're in a legitimate competition because lessons learned at practice should carry over to the game.
Canwest: How hard did Toronto Raptors head coach Jay Triano try to recruit you when he was coaching at Simon Fraser University?
Nash: He recruited me hard, but he was great. He said, ‘look, I think you should go to the States and play Division 1 basketball, but if you don?t then I think Simon is the best place for you.?? That honesty from him was really amazing. He had his own self interest involved but he put my interests ahead of his, and that tells you what kind of person he is.
Check out the latest vlog from Raptors play-by-play man Matt Devlin!
What do I know about the Raptors vs. the Hornets? I know that the Raps are one of my fave teams out East. I know they will be improved this year. And I know our game there will be at an absurdly early hour of the day. (Let it be said that I wrote that without checking. And sure enough, I just looked, and it is at 11:30 AM CST. The reason I knew is that for some reason the Hornets at Raptors game is always at an absurd hour of the day.)
The pressure is on the Toronto Raptors to get off to a fast start this season. Chris Bosh is expected to opt out of his contract at the end of the season, and he’ll be one of the sought after guys in a class that could include LeBron James and Dwayne Wade. I think this team has plenty of weapons to contend in the East, but if things don?t start out well the team might be forced to trade Bosh instead of losing him to free agency and being left with nothing in return. The NBA odds makers aren’t putting a lot of stock in this game, listing the Raptors at 80-to-1 to win the NBA Finals and 40-to-1 to win the East.
The Raptors don’t have much chance of cracking the Big Three of Orlando, Cleveland and Boston, but there’s not much stopping Toronto from making a run at the 4 seed along with the likes of Philly, Miami, Atlanta and maybe Chicago.
Before last season, Rasho was the "anti-Jamal Crawford" – he played in the post-season in each of his first 10 seasons. Last season with the Pacers was his first time missing the playoffs. It was also his fewest minutes played in a season since his rookie year. Coincidence?
Chris Bosh doesn't want to see the Raptors change their game-day routine as some teams have this season.
Andrea Bargnani got a $50 million extension from the Raptors in July. Brandon Roy followed with a max $80 million extension in August. And his teammate, LaMarcus Aldridge, just agreed to a $65 million extension on Wednesday evening. But so far the rest of the first-round draft Class of 2006 has been totally out of luck.
This year, Jose Calderon has slipped below the radar of many NBA analysts and, sadly, many Toronto Raptors fans. Sometimes we need to be reminded that each season Toronto fans have witnessed the development of one of the better point guards in the NBA.
Hedo Turkoglu missed a bunch of games because he was hurt, as did Chris Bosh. Crazy bench rats like Hassan Adams and the immortal Marcus Banks got some serious minutes. And there were those awful replacement refs with hair-trigger whistles and a tenuous grasp of the rulebook.
This is the point where if I were Malcolm Gladwell or Liston I’d pull out some number that shows things aren’t that bad. But I?m neither one and I have no number.
Instead I have a nagging worry about Turkoglu. He’s a big guy (6-10) and he just came off a long season. 77 regular season games, 24 playoff games and however many he played in the summer. That’s a lot of mileage.
- Weems 5, DeRozan 0
- Days of Thunder