Celtics at Raptors, game-day Dino-bytes
Our post-shootaround at tonight’s Raptors game.
BOSTON at TORONTO
7 p.m. Air Canada Centre
TV: TSN2; Radio: Sportsnet THE FAN590
Boston: Avery Bradley, Gerald Wallace, Brandon Bass, Jeff Green, Vitor Faverani; Toronto: Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, Amir Johnson, Jonas Valanciunas.
Key matchup: Bradley vs. Lowry
The Raptors point guard gets a true pest of a defender in Bradley and will be playing his first game with a splint covering the ring finger on his left hand, thanks to a tendon injury.
Not sure what impact it will have on his ball-handling but look for Bradley to apply plenty of pressure.
What happened this morning
All about the D
As expected, it’s all chatter about how good the Raptors want to be defensively this season and that’s thing coach Dwane Casey has been hammering home all pre-season.
DeMar DeRozan was particularly emphatic about how well they’ve been playing and how important it is.
“I keep saying defence because that’s our main priority,” he said. “He (Casey) makes defence fun to play.”
A big crowd
Must be opening day with the Leaves out of town; seven TV cameras, maybe two dozen reporters were around shootaround.
And, because it’s Toronto, only one question about the need to get off to a quick start “because it’s been good for the Leafs.”
Because everyone wants to know, the Delay Of Game Calling Crew tonight is Tony Brothers, Leroy Richardson and Steve Anderson, who I believe is a newbie.
And a chance to say get well
Yes, there will be a new mascot – Stripes and you can read about him/her/it here – but The Chicken will make an appearance so the fans can say hi.
And here’s a Steve Russell compilation that’s worth a look.
Who’s in and out
Raptors haven’t declared their active and inactive roster for tonight – they don’t have to do it until an hour tip off – but Dwight Buycks is still away dealing with a family issue so he’s out.
But Steve Novak is good to go, it’ll be his first live game action in about two weeks.
Toronto is 9-9 in season opening games all time and 6-6 when that first game is played in Toronto. The Raptors have also lost their last three home openers.