Terrence Ross Leads Raptors Over Celtics, Kelly Olynyk Back in Canada
TORONTO,ON– “Believe me, we’re nowhere near where we need to be.”
Toronto Raptors Head Coach Dwayne Casey is aware that the pre-season product does not provide a true indication of how good this team could be.
Although the Raptors squeezed by Boston with a 99-97 victory, it’s still the pre-season and at this point, the 48 minutes on the floor are basically trial runs.
Experimentation is the name of the game.
“It was no disrespect to Boston, but we need to find out what our second unit can do; Austin Daye, Landry Fields, Tyler Hansborough, Dj Augustine…Stone,” explained Casey.
Sophomore wing Terrence Ross put on an aerial display, showcasing his freak athleticism and improved break down game, en route to a game-high 19 points.
“I’m not just looking for points from Terrence, I’m looking for him to make decisions with the ball, and definitely on the defensive end which he gave us,” said Casey.
Landry Fields was also productive off the bench registering 14 points and seven rebounds, while shooting an efficient 5-of-7 from the field.
“Coach really emphasized before the game about the second group. Our first group is pretty much set,” explained Fields, referring to maintaing strong production from the second string.
The starting line up is composed of Kyle Lowry at the point, with Demar Derozan and Rudy Gay on the wing; Amir Johnson and Jonas Valanciunas will be providing interior production.
On paper it looks good, as the Raptors seem to have all the pieces including a formidable bench for a play off run. The success of this season will come down to toughness, chemistry and role definition.
“We have to develop an offensive identity,” said Casey.
The Raptors move to 4-1 on the pre-season winning their third-straight. Next up is the New York Knicks on October 21, featuring former Raptor and lottery pick Andrea Bargnani.
Kelly Olynyk Back on Canadian Soil
Toronto born, South Kamloops raised. Kelly Olynyk made is hometown debut, posting 13 points and nine rebounds in 25 minutes.
Olynyk was able to get position on the interior, finishing and displaying a nice touch around the basket. The seven-footer is mobile, but not athletic. Instead, he ‘thinks the game’ and makes good decisions when catching on the block; he has great court awareness to pass out of a double-team and understands spacing. Olynyk will not rush a shot like typical bigs do, he will remain patient and take what the defence gives him.
Olynyk fouled out for the second straight game as he continues to adjust to the NBA. Some of the fouls are avoidable, and some might be called due to his rookie status. Regardless, Olynyk’s foul trouble is something worth tracking moving forward. The Canadian big man is talented and efficient but will need to remain on the floor if he is to have a large role with this year’s Boston Celtics.
Switching gears, the Gonzaga Bulldog expects a big year from his former teammate.
He sees the floor, shoots it well, I think he’s going to have a big role over there, leadership as well. They are expecting great things out of him, and I am too. – Kelly Olynyk on former Gonzaga teammate & fellow Canadian Kevin Pangos.
NPH Top Performers
- Terrence Ross: – 19 points, 5 rebounds
- Landry Fields – 14 points, 7 rebounds
- Kyle Lowry – 11 points, 3 rebounds
- Jonas Valancuinas – 10 points, 4 rebounds
- Rudy Gay – 10 points
- MarShon Brooks – 17 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists
- Kelly Olynyk – 13 points, 9 rebounds
- Jeff Green – 13 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists
- Vitor Fevarani – 13 points, 5 rebounds