Brad Stevens raved about the impact Canadians Joel Anthony, Dwight Powell and Kelly Olynyk have had so far during training camp.
The Toronto Raptors (1-1) and Boston Celtics (2-0) meet in the second game of the preseason for both teams at Air Canada Centre. Here are five things to watch for:
- Boston has three Canadian “bigs” on their roster. Kelly Olynyk is hoping to carve out a spot in the rotation where he plays more than the 20 minutes per game he did as a rookie, Joel Anthony is trying to prove he’s still a rotation player in the NBA and Dwight Powell is trying to crack the rotation as a rookie. All three have lots to prove in training camp.
- Boston’s head coach, Brad Stevens, implored his team to shoot more before their last game and the result was the Celtics scored 106 points while shooting 48% from the field and 50% from beyond the arc. Dwane Casey lit into his team earlier this week for a lack of effort on the defensive end. If Toronto doesn’t show more effort on the defensive end it could get ugly quick at the Air Canada Centre.
- With Rajon Rondo out of action due to an injury, Boston has had to rely on a rookie combo guard (Marcus Smart), a 5’11” undrafted point guard (Phil Pressey) and a former lottery pick who has played most of his career as a wing (Evan Turner). It will be interesting to see if Toronto’s point guards can exploit this.
- Landry Fields is penciled in as a probable starter tonight in the Raptors’ Media Notes. Interesting. That may change between now and the 7:30 EST opening tip.
- Eric Koreen had an article today where the Raptors coaching staff has a goal for Jonas Valanciunas to become one of the elite defensive players in the NBA. Against the Sacramento Kings he got roughed up by DeMarcus Cousins but Valanciunas faces a noticeably weaker frontcourt tonight.
Greg Stiemsma talked with me about why he picked to sign with Toronto this summer, passionate basketball fans in Toronto and why he’ll win the battle for the final roster spot.