Boucher may return for the Raptors’ first game but can’t turn the team on against Wizards

However, fans were able to see three Canadian Raptors on the court at once and the impressive work of Dalano Banton.

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It was a welcome sight to see each and every Raptor back on the court in Toronto on Wednesday, but especially when it comes to Chris Boucher.


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Boucher had dislocated his finger just a couple of practices in training camp following a collision with Precious Achiuwa and the early forecast was that he would join teammate Pascal Siakam in streetwear for both the preseason and early stages of the regular one. Bell.

Instead, last year’s Raptor (career-best 13.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.9 blocks, which ranked fifth in the NBA, with 38% accuracy from three-point range), returned. , coming off the bench for the first game of the season without any restrictions.

“It doesn’t really hurt when I get the ball and when I’m dribbling and it doesn’t really affect my shot,” Boucher explained early Wednesday. “Conditioning was never really a problem for me. I’ve always been running and doing extra work every time, so even though I didn’t get reps of games, I had time to practice, I had time to train, ”he said.


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Boucher cautioned that he would have some rust and that it will take some time to get into a rhythm because he did not have the benefit of any exhibition contests, but he was hoping to be fit soon enough.

Boucher doesn’t think he’s finished getting better. He knows this is a great season for him, with more to prove. But just being back in her home arena put a smile on her face.

“My family with the fans here in Toronto, I personally think it’s an opportunity to show people what I’m doing, but I also think it’s good to be able to play in front of my family in friends. When we were in Tampa, even though I felt like I had a great season, I couldn’t do it in front of my family and my fans. So I am very excited to continue what I have been doing and continue to help this team get to where we want to be, ”said Boucher.


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Boucher checked in late in the first quarter, but didn’t make much of an impact, like all Toronto forwards tonight. He finally nailed a 3-pointer after missing his first four shots as the third quarter ended and he also had an impact in the fourth quarter.


Only four members of the Raptors had played for the team at Scotiabank Arena before the game, and it showed at times, with only veteran Goran Dragic playing well in his Toronto debut.

Don’t get us wrong, others showed flashes, between stumbles, and that included rookie Scottie Barnes, the fourth most recent draft pick.

Barnes grew up watching videos of the all-time great Magic Johnson and showed he was paying attention early on with a couple of nice plays that even the Magic man would have enjoyed watching.


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Barnes’ first NBA bucket came with a left-handed baby hook, of all things. The kind of move Johnson liked to pull out of his arsenal from time to time.

Barnes also sported the part when he dropped a pass without looking at Khem Birch on a fast break and generally with the way he pushed the ball in transition as often as he could.

He also looked comfortable on the post and tight when driving, with good footwork.

All that said, Barnes also collected three turnovers and three fouls in his first half of the action and threw an air ball on a three-point corner attempt. At times, Barnes tried to do too much instead of making easier plays.

Rome was not built in a day. Barnes will be fine.


There was a record 18 Canadians on the NBA rosters to start the season, including three on the Raptors. One of them, Dalano Banton, couldn’t wipe the smile off his face during the opening festivities, which included Drake sitting on the court and iconic Toronto rapper Kardinal Offishall cheering everyone on. Banton, the product of Rexdale, was living a dream and that was obvious. He also received one of the loudest ovations from the crowd and seemed to be shaking his head in disbelief at everything that was going on as he raised his hands to the rhythm of the crowd.


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Banton made his first appearance late in the third, getting a numb crowd to explode again at least when he ran onto the court, and then even more so when he nailed a half-court shot to end the third.

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The other two Canadians, Boucher and Khem Birch, both from Montreal, actually spent much of the game playing side by side, something that happened a bit last year once Birch joined the team, but when Banton joined to them, it was a first for the Raptors – three on the ground at once. Later, Banton found a cutting Boucher with a nice lead for a jam and then went all the way down the court to lay a layup.


If you missed it, the NBA unveiled 50 of its top 75 players this week. Canadian Steve Nash pulled it off, as did former Raptor Hakeem Olajuwon (who was honored for his work with Houston, not Toronto). Original Raptors general manager Isiah Thomas, Detroit Pistons legend, was there too. Former Raptors Tracy McGrady and Vince Carter could be among the last 25 names, to be revealed Thursday … Veteran Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas received a two-year extension worth $ 30.1 million from New Orleans . The Pelicans had previously acquired Valanciunas from Memphis.




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