Toronto Raptors: 3 things to watch throughout the 2018-19 season

Ruben Holloway
October 19, 2018

As for Leonard, Green said: "He is far ahead of where I expected him to be, but I still know he's not himself".

Nick Nurse got a win in his first regular season game as an National Basketball Association head coach, and he did it in a way that we'll likely soon be calling "vintage Nurse".

Leonard played 37 minutes in first regular-season action since January 13 - the two-time defensive player of the year missed all but nine games because of a quadriceps injury in a weird season last year in San Antonio.

He correctly anticipated the Cavaliers would try to take advantage of Kevin Love's ability to stretch the floor late against Jonas Valanciunas and pulled the big centre the moment he saw it happen rather than risk the Cavaliers getting on a run in what was an 11-point game. Our offense was also stagnant sometimes tonight. If the Toronto Raptors are going to indeed contend for a championship this season, they need their best player at his very peak. It's all well and good to say the right things, but he's got to show the conviction to do so in games on a nightly basis.

"I think that's something that is part of leadership as well", Love reflects, "trying to find players that fit with your culture, someone who is going to be a really key addition to who we already have, and who we want to build with. Yeah, we've got some room for improvement, that's for sure".

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The Raptors were 4-1 in exhibition games.

"It was great", Leonard said. With Hayward and Irving healthy and wings Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum having flashed all-star potential before being old enough to drink in most states, Boston seems like a team ready to take a giant step.

VanVleet said the newcomers "looked great".

They're not even expecting us to make the playoffs.

We project Nance as the 78th best fantasy asset this year, and-if you haven't drafted-you can generally get him several rounds after that.

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The Celtics, as Raptors head coach Nick Nurse somewhat happily told the assembled media on Thursday, are pretty much accepted as the team to beat in the East this season. "But really cool to get it done and now we can quit talking about that".

Neither team led by more than four points in a tight first quarter, and a layup by Green with five seconds on the clock send the Raptors into the second with a 28-25 lead.

Lowry led Toronto with eight assists and shot 5-for-6 from 3-point range. The Raptors went into the halftime break up 60-47.

Nance averaged 8.9 points and seven rebounds in 24 games for the Cavaliers last season.

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