Ahh, and here we go again. The Toronto Raptors kicked off their 15th season tonight. And it was a good one. All new lineup (9 new players out of 12) against the powerhouse Cleveland Cavaliers. Be honest - did anyone peg them to win? I didn't. I figured we'd be competitive for the first quarter and a half, Lebron would catch fire, we'd collapse, and that was that. I was so wrong.
New lineup looked great. But let's talk about Andrea Bargnani for a minute, Il Mago. He was spectacular from the very first possession. When he faced up on Varejao, I screamed for him to take that floppy haired queen. And he did. Straight to the rack, dunk, and it was over - Bargnani lit them up for 28. Drives, perimeter shots, dunks...Il Mago did it all and completely embarrassed Shaq. I love Turkoglu's game. It was fantastic to see him out there with Calderon and Jack. Three playmakers out there? Man, this season should be exciting.
Speaking of Jarrett Jack, I was very impressed. I love having both 2 point guards on the court at the start of the 4th. We have mobile big men, so speed isn't an issue. Exciting stuff. Marco Belinelli was also a pleasant surprise. Definitely an upgrade on Roko Ukic. More size, better stroke, stronger. It's a shame we didn't see Reggie Evans suit up. I'm very intrigued to see how he fits in. DeRozan did more in his first game than Joey Graham showed in his entire tenure with the team. And seeing Rasho back in a Raptors uni just felt right.
Promising. I don't want to say too much - I did predict 50 wins last season. But I can't remember the last time we had such depth. Lots of people are saying Colangelo overpaid for Bargnani - he's going to prove them wrong. I'm huge on Il Mago. This should be a fun season to watch.
Raptors win, Raptors win, Raptors win!DF