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Toronto Raptors host Chicago Bulls in home opener

Toronto Raptors host Chicago Bulls in home opener”

Preseason NBA basketball doesn't mean a thing. Bobby Portis was suspended for eight games by the team for his role in Tuesday's incident.

It's nearly like the organization looked at DeRozan, their leading scorer, and the NBA's foremost taker and maker of contested mid-range twos - the least fashionable shot in the sport - and said they needed less of what he does best.

"Peja Stojakovic. Briefly", said DeRozan - Stojakovic played just two games for Toronto in 2011.

"You can put me anywhere and I'm going to figure it out, some way, somehow, and maximize it for myself and everyone around me", he said.

The Bulls on Wednesday were supposed to be talking about their excitement for Thursday's season opener.

So while the preseason doesn't mean a thing, it does still reveal a lot about each team heading into the regular season.

Talk surrounding the Eastern Conference is dominated by Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavilers, and whether or not the Boston Celtics will be able to knock off the defending conference champions. The question for Toronto this season will be how much bigger they can be than just themselves. Chicago has dominated Toronto over the last three season winning 10 of their 11 matches.

"I had the same feeling that I had when I was on the court when it happened with Paul", DeRozan said.

"Every year, you start out from scratch". "We used to have to go in the middle of the circle and the first one out of the circle [would] lose". For us, we've got to go out there and worry about ourselves.

"I don't come out and say 'I'm going to average X amount of points,"' he said.

We know the Toronto Raptors, or we think we do. There was just one problem: Anunoby tore his ACL while playing at IN back IN January, and has been recovering ever since.

Raptors coach Dwane Casey pointed out that with today's advanced sports medicine, Hayward will likely make a complete recovery. "He has worked his behind off to get where he is now". Everybody knows I'm happy with that.

The Raptors made a deal to pick up Serge Ibaka last February, forcing him to quickly adjust to a brand new system on the fly. That's no easy task for either side.

But after getting a full offseason under his belt, Casey said that Ibaka - who averaged more than 14 points in just 23 games for the Raptors past year - is looking much more comfortable. "You kind of have no choice but when the real thing comes around to be completely ready".

"You're a clown for that tweet after a man gets hurt with a potential career ending injury!"

Toronto center Jonas Valančiūnas has established himself as one of the better pick-and-roll men in the National Basketball Association, which is something that the Raptors' offense relies on.

The 28-year-old, who's heading into his ninth season with Toronto, said the pre-season is about finding a rhythm, and players often "coast" by necessity. The Raptors matter as much as they ever have before. "That's the trick and luckily in Seattle we had some of those but guys were able to get back together and maintain the team chemistry". "I think the guys are excited to see how this turns out during the season". He was obviously a supreme shooter but you couldn't just play him that way. The Chicago Bulls have lost eight of their last 12 road games.

The front office took notice, too, signing Powell to a four-year extension reportedly worth $42 million.

The Lowry-Ibaka dynamic - Ibaka averaged 14.2 points and 6.8 rebounds in 23 games for the Raptors after being acquired from Oklahoma City at the All-Star break.

" I look at it with an open mind and understand this can make not just me better, but my teammates better", he said. He doesn't feel like anybody owes him anything. He came in with that attitude and he still has that attitude. He was earning it, and he continues to do that because he's hungry.



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