Well, the opener's come and gone and, thank Zeus, the Raptors managed to stifle the Elton's glorious, half-arena filled debut in Philly. It started off slow but both teams began picking up the pace and, although the game ended up in double digits, it was fairly exciting to watch. So, what were my thoughts? Instead of summizing everything into an article proper, here instead are a random collection of things that ran through my mind before, during, and after the game.
1) Man, the game's been on for twenty minutes and I'm at Stitches buying a pair of jeans? What am I, a girl? And yes, Raptor's nation, that means I didn't actually catch the first quarter. But there was a sale, and I was in dire need of pantaloons. Pantaloons not being sold at the mall, I had to settle for a pair of jeans.
2) Going into half time and the Raptors are up! I should shop for fantastic denim jeans during the first half more often, though my wallet is currently giving a stern, disapproving look. But...Okay, fine.
3) Where's Will Solomon? After watching him became the de facto backup point guard for every preseason game I figured he had the spot. Then I realized I didn't even see him on the bench. A quick Google search revealed his hamstring injury, which is disappointing seeing he actually did a halfway decent job backing up Jose.
4) Man, I wonder if you could build a coy pond in Iguodala's mouth.
5) So, what about Roko? He was a'ight. I guess. Nothing special, nothing particularly awful. He carried the ball up the court, started a play, and then passed it off. It would've been perfectly fine if not for his rather awkward drives to the lane, especially the one where he was served a leather lunch by Theo Ratliff. Theo-freaking-Ratliff!
6) Wait a minute, Theo Ratliff was still in the league? Well, colour me indifferent, though amused.
7) Chris Bosh is being Chris Bosh, so that's Boshing Christacular.
8) O'Neal looked fine, though he didn't really dominate down low but that was expected. He gave up an awful lot of 'aw'ffensive rebounds, especially to the shorter Elton Brand and the, er, Dalember' Dalembert. I mean, 17 rebounds to Samuel Dalembert?
9) I couldn't believe Bargnani had the ability to underwhelm me, someone who had absolutely no expectations of him being good. Kudos, Il Mago, you pulled the greatest magic trick of all!
10) Kapono blowing out his fingers after nailing a dagger three. Why isn't this he starting ahead of Moon, and why isn't he taking every other shot? Even if he misses half of them, that'd still be 50% from three point land. We're looking at 200 point games people! And before you start, stop. I know my logic is flawless, so I've done you all the favour of already being absolutely correct.
11) 10-16 from Three Point Land? Do you think the Raptors have become naturalized citizens by now?
12) 1 and 0, folks. That technically means the Raptors are perfect. Resort to 9 for my logic.
All in all, a good showing of what the Raptors can achieve, especially against a Sixer's team that many analysts had coming up 3rd, or even second, in the East. Still, the season's young and the real challenges don't come until the second of third months when teams finally gel and fall into their rhythm.
For now, the Raptors start the season right, and I have a nifty pair of loose fit Havana style jeans. Life can't get better for this Raptor's fan.