Gameday: Raptors @ Kings preseason, Oct. 7

Title: Gameday: Raptors @ Kings preseason, Oct. 7
Date: October 7, 2014
Original Source: Raptors Republic
Synopsis: This Raptors pre-game broke down the Raptors’ October 7 preseason contest against the Kings.

Didn’t get enough of the Toronto Raptors and Sacramento Kings in exhibition actionon Sunday night? Yeah, me neither. Luckily, the Raptors have travelled down the Pacific Coast Highway from Vancouver to Sacramento, and the two sides will square off once again on Tuesday, at 10 p.m.

Wondering where to find it? Let’s have a look…TSN has an NHL fantasy draft special, helping approximately zero people since it’s one day before the NHL opens up….TSN2 has CFL action…TSN3 has a hockey season preview edition of The Reporters…TSN4’s got that fantasy special again…TSN5 has the Reporters thing…Sportsnet has playoff baseball…Sportsnet1 has baseball…Sportsnet360 has a highlight show…NBA TV has Warriors/Clippers preseason action…oh, okay.

So yeah, you can’t watch this game without an illegal stream of a Kings broadcast here in Canada. Terrific. I know it’s “just” the preseason and all, but it took me about 15 minutes from when the preseason began to become annoyed with the treatment of the team, at least on television. And this isn’t just on TSN and Rogers – I’m told the Raptors could elect to put the game on NBA TV Canada if they wanted to, but decided against it.

Right, because why would you want people watching your product and getting excited for the season?

We keep getting reminded how this team engaged the city in last year’s playoff run, and how they brought the whole team back, and how expectations are high, and how the excitement is palpable. And then we get Rod Black opening the first broadcast of the season with “Heeeeeee’s baaaaaaack” (and also just existing), and then the second preseason game is blacked out for those in the local market. Yes, ratings for a 10 p.m. preseason game probably would have been low, and every broadcast costs money to produce, but this just seems so counter to the tone and language of the preseason so far.

I digress. I’ve fully accepted that I live in the wrong country (in terms of sports fandom…Canada is the greatest, otherwise…and hockey and baseball are more than cool, they may even be equal with basketball…but…sigh).

So there’s a basketball game, surely similar to the one we saw on Sunday. If you stream it illegally or happen to live somewhere that it will be broadcast, you’ll probably see a lot of the same things you saw on Sunday. The Raptors starters will play minutes in the low 20s, head coach Dwane Casey will experiment with different second unit looks, and the players on the bubble for rotation spots will be put in opportunities to perform their expected role (not just go HAM).

There are two differences I’d expect in this game, though they certainly fall more under the umbrella of “what I would probably do” than “what I think Casey will do.”

For one, I’d be playing the starters a little less through the first three quarters and letting them close out the game. I know we’ll pull our hair out if someone gets injured in the fourth quarter of a preseason game, but I do believe there’s value in your players practicing closing out games. They already know the system and many of the sets Casey will employ late, but letting the final five get some reps in those spots is important over the course of eight friendlies. The team has a few days before their next game, too, so pushing them into the low-20s for minutes isn’t egregious or anything.

Remind me I wrote that when Kyle Lowry tears an ACL with a minute to play tonight. Sorry.

The second difference I’d expect to see:

I have no idea if Bruno Caboclo’s calf is well enough for him to see run (or if Terrence Ross’ knee or Patrick Patterson’s hand will allow them to play…it’s early, keep an eye on Twitter), but if he is, it’s pretty hilarious that it will go unseen by the fanbase. That doesn’t really matter, but it’s painful to think about.

Anyway, enjoy the game if you can find a way to watch it! We’ll have a quick reaction right after and a proper post-game in the morning. Hey, at least the game not being broadcast forces you to come here and find out what happened.

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