As August wears on, so does pickup season. As I discussed last time, a strong nucleus of young Raptors players has been playing at the notorious Rico Hines UCLA runs while living in LA to train during the offseason, and the last few scrimmages have been no exception.
Last time around, there was a solid northern contingent of Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, Malachi Richardson, Chris Boucher, and UCLA alum, Norman Powell, and not much changed the following week, as the whole unit returned (with the lone exception of Lorenzo Brown subbing in for VanVleet). Unfortunately, for fans aching to see how the Raptors young guns performed, they were predominantly matched up against a star-studded Oklahoma City Thunder crew consisting of Paul George, Russell Westbrook, Steven Adams, Dennis Schroader, Raymond Felton, and Deonte Burton. I think you can guess who got most of the camera time.
Still, outside of Boucher getting baptized by Deonte Burton on game-point, the Raptors’ players held their own and made a few highlights doing so:
The Powell redemption tour continued to sell out in his hometown:
Lorenzo Brown, who Raptors Republic recently learned will have a guarantee date of January 10th, gave a friendly reminder that NBA players are far more athletic than they look on TV:
Additionally, twice this past week, the newly-headbanded Pascal Siakam came stag to the famous UCLA run but alas, ended up on the same team as Kevin Durant and Devin Booker on both occasions. Once again, I’m sure you can guess who got the lion’s share of the screen time.
Regardless, despite the limited touches, Siakam still managed to show out:
He put the clamps on LA pickup frequent Bobby Brown:
He blew past first-team all-defence Brandon Jennings:
He used his height advantage to abuse both Buddy Hield and Denzel Valentine in the post:
And made some point forward-type plays:
As I said last time, there are no “takeaways” from pickup. This is just one Raptors junkie passing his fix onto others. Hope you enjoyed, and thanks to Ballislife for the videos.