The Toronto Raptors played two of the most exciting preseason games ever recorded, and they both came against the Boston Celtics. It wasn't a terrible preseason, with some down, but plenty of good with a 3-2 finish. Most everyone had a moment at one point or another, with Dalano Banton in particular playing great from start to finish. To prepare for the entire season, we've gathered the collective will and wit of Raptors Republic to talk through the offseason, preseason, and make predictions for the upcoming year. You can find part one here.
How would you rate Toronto’s preseason?
Adon Moss: For the core: I've no thoughts. I'm underwhelmed by preseason as a whole.
For Canada: AWESOME. The cross-Canada tour was a huge success (sell-outs in Victoria, Edmonton, and Montreal). Regular season visits to Canadian metropoli should be the next mission. (Though that Montreal floor looked very slippy; I don't trust hockey-first anything)
For the Young'uns: Vundabar. Camp battles were genuinely competitive. The comeback against Boston and double battles in OT were great experiences and probably SO MUCH fun for them. Seeing growth from guys like Banton, Koloko, and Downtin was encouraging. And I'm happy for Josh Jackson and Gabe Brown and DJ Wilson who all put their best foot forward.
Josh Howe: Aside from the injuries to multiple key figures (including poor Malachi Flynn, for whom a strong pre-season could have sustained some welcome summer momentum), Toronto’s pre-season proved a tasty precursor to the campaign ahead. Impressive Koloko minutes, pushing the pace, Banton’s burgeoning game, and a closeout Barnes/Anunoby thrill-ride highlighted the innumerable reasons fans should be jazzed about this season’s potential.
Simon Broder: Maybe a C-? Despite the record, I was pretty unimpressed. All the offensive problems from last year were there in stark contrast, and the 3-point shooting was absolutely atrocious. Obviously Otto was out, but if Precious continues to struggle shooting the ball as much as he did in preseason, the floor will get a little bit smaller for everybody else. I don't want to overreact to a few exhibition games, but I'm definitely concerned.
Louis Zatzman: Meh, preseason is what it is as far as player analysis goes. Scottie Barnes can have four disappointing games and then play so well in game five that all that goes out the window. But the Raptors had two games against the Celtics that were as fun as regular-season games, and nobody suffered serious injuries. So I can be happy with that.