Gray cleared, Raptors have full complement for home opener
The Raptors might be a bit bigger for their home opener than they were for Monday’s game in Cleveland.
Hulking 7-foot centre Aaron Gray, who sat out the first game of the season as a precaution after an elevated heart rate popped up, has been cleared to play and will be available for Wednesday’s home opener against the Indiana Pacers.
Coach Dwane Casey said this morning he wasn’t sure how much – or even if – Gray would play but having a wide-bodied 7-footer available against an Indiana team that boasts Roy Hibbert in the middle can’t hurt.
“We need that extra body, his size and physical play. He’s one of our best post defenders, we need him,” was how Casey put it Wednesday morning.
And being able to guard the post one-on-one is huge.
“Indiana’s one of the top offensive rebounding teams in the league, they averaged 18 in the two exhibition games and the first (regular season) game,” said Casey. “When you’re double teaming and rotating, when the shot goes up and you’re in the process of rotating, bodies are loose … that’s what really gets you more than anything else.”
Other than that, it’s business as usual for Toronto.
They’ll trot out the same starters -- Jose Calderon, DeMar DeRozan, Rasual Butler, Andrea Bargnani and Amir Johnson – as they did Monday night in Cleveland.