After beating their bitter rivals of the past, the Cleveland Cavaliers, in their season opener by a score of 116-104, the Raptors are looking ahead to the matchup with the Boston Celtics tomorrow night, who may well be their bitter rivals of the future.
Before I look ahead to that game with the team, I'm going to summarize the game through three major takeaways.
1. No Greg Monroe
After Raptors' center, Serge Ibaka, struggled immensely in his debut, Raptors fans were left wondering: where was Greg Monroe?
One of the most recent additions to Toronto's roster, Monroe was not expected to get heavy minutes for the Raptors. He was, however, expected to at least play in the game. Instead, he put up a score sheet full of zeroes, not checking in once.
Hopefully we see more of him this season, particularly tomorrow night against his former team, the Boston Celtics.
Don't be surprised if Serge's minutes are reduced and Monroe's increased in the Raptors' next game.
2. Pascal Siakam Looked Even Better Than We Had Hoped
Pascal Siakam, 2016 late-first-round pick by Masai Ujiri for the Raptors, played incredibly well tonight after getting the surprise start.
Last season, Siakam was a key member of the Bench Mob, and was expected to continue that role for most of this year. He got the start on opening night though, and delivered a 13-point, 2 rebound, 2 assist performance to the home crowd.
3. Kawhi and Kyle's Chemistry isn't Quite There Yet
The third, and most important, development that I saw tonight was, honestly, a lack of just that- development.
That is to say, a lack of development in the on-court relationship between Kyle Lowry and Kawhi Leonard.
I saw Kawhi assist Kyle once. I saw them talking, or more accurately, Kyle talking to Kawhi.
While there is nothing negative about this, it's nothing we haven't seen before; nothing special, and nothing progressive.