five takeaways from Kawhi Leonard’s Toronto Raptors pre-season debut

Mike Ashley offering avid gamers a free break if Newcastle avoid relegation is an insult… I’d have advised him to shove it where the solar don’t shine

provided by using operate Media Channels constrainedThe Toronto Raptors acquired the 2018-19 season off to a positive originate on Saturday evening with a 122-104 victory over the Portland path Blazers of their preseason opener.

Kawhi Leonard stole the exhibit in this one, but the Raptors received contributions throughout the board from the likes of Pascal Siakam and Jonas Valanciunas.

With that in mind, listed below are 5 takeaways from the primary of 5 preseason games for the Raptors…

Kawhi Leonard looks in shape

Kawhi Leonard’s debut went about in addition to any person may’ve anticipated.

He was a bit rusty, which should not come as a surprise to anyone since this was his first NBA online game in essentially 9 months, but Kawhi changed into aggressive on offense and looked like his former MVP self on a few possessions, this crossover on Calib Swanigan being probably the most memorable:

Kawhi accomplished the game with 12 facets, three rebounds, one help and one catch in 19 minutes of play. He attempted eight pictures and received to the free throw line 11 instances. The Raptors outscored the Blazers by way of 10 facets with him on the court, giving him the fourth-highest plus-minus on the crew.

This can be the commence of whatever special in Toronto.

provided via perform Media Channels confined kawhi-leonard-092918-ftr-getty.jpg Pascal Siakam is a different player

speaking of particular, Pascal Siakam had himself an evening.

while it may not seem to be it in response to the field score, the 24-yr-old changed into all over, grabbing rebounds, pushing the pace and setting up his teammates with nice looks in transition.

The latter may not likely be a one-off, either.

both Siakam and Raptors head educate Nick Nurse talked in practising camp about him getting extra alternatives to deal with the ball and make performs in the inaugurate court docket this season, and he put his full talents in those instances on monitor time and time towards the Blazers.

Fred VanVleet is as steady as ever

What can we say about Fred VanVleet that hasn’t already been talked about?

In sixteen minutes off the bench, VanVleet drilled three of his four shot makes an attempt from deep en path to eleven aspects. He changed into as constant as ever in leading the 2nd unit, which helped the Raptors separate themselves from the Blazers within the third quarter.

VanVleet had a powerful case for Sixth Man of the yr final season . We should still likely expect more of the equal from him this season.

Jonas Valanciunas in opposition t 2d devices is never lovely

Nick Nurse started CJ Miles at power forward and Serge Ibaka at middle in Toronto’s first preseason online game, so Jonas Valanciunas came off the bench to fill the Jakob Poeltl position on the 2nd unit.

Valanciunas makes up for what he lacks defensively in comparison to Poeltl with his offense, and he feasted on Portland’s backups all evening lengthy. It led to Valanciunas scoring a group-high 17 facets on 4-for-eight taking pictures from the container and eight-for-eight taking pictures from the free throw line.

Time will inform if Valanciunas will spend greater time in the beginning lineup or coming off the bench this season — Nick Nurse has said that he’ll experiment with distinctive lineups all over preseason — however he’ll be an incredible a part of Toronto’s success regardless.

Nick Nurse can be turning the Raptors into the Rockets

Nick Nurse acquired loads of credit score for giving Toronto’s offense a facelift closing season.

Now that he’s the top coach, he might be taking his system to an extreme via turning the Raptors into the eastern conference edition of the Houston Rockets.

take into account, as Ben Falk of cleansing the Glass mentioned , that the Blazers are some of the greater teams within the league at maintaining opponents off the three-aspect line and getting them to settle for long twos.

or not it’s simplest preseason, however we’re already seeing Nurse implement some adjustments.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *