It was about what you would expect from a first game of the season. Way too many turnovers some lapses on defence and probably some better shooting than you might expect. All told the Raptors 97-89 win will not be put into the vault as one of those examples of how the game should be played but it did provide some talking points. But the first and the last thing Raptors head coach Dwane Casey would touch on in his breakdown of the game were those turnovers all 26 of them. “We turned it over 25 (26 if you include the one team turnover) times” Casey said hardly believing the number himself. “I mean it’s exhibition but we got to get that number way down. It was a little bit of everything. It’s just trying to do too much. We got to get those down.” All five starters had at least three turnovers so it’s not like Casey can point the finger at one guy. As much as he couldn’t have liked the sloppiness there was a lot for Casey to enjoy in this one. First and foremost is Jonas Valanciunas’ post game which has improved just as much as his teammates and coach have been boasting about this past week. Valanciunas got seven touches in the paint and converted five of them. It’s the exact type of sure-fire offence any team would thrive on and the work he has put in on that part of his game was on full display Monday night. “He’s going to have be our anchor” Casey said. “He’s going to have to be smart with guys trying to bait him into fouls in the post.” Valanciunas finished the night with 10 points and 10 rebounds but left the game with three minutes to go when he fouled out for the night. The defensive takeaway was mixed. The starters for the 16 minutes they were on the floor together (first eight of each half) outscored Boston 26-18. This group was definitely further along defensively than the bench. Rudy Gay looked like a guy who had put the kind of time into his shooting he has been telling the media every time he gets asked. Sure the eye surgery has to have helped but Gay was putting on a mini shooting clinic in this one going 7-for-11 from the field for a game-tying high 17 points.
Jonas Valanciunas looks good in Raptors win over Celtics
Toronto Sun | Oct 8