Preseason Blowout

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Anunoby, Raptors Dominate Rockets as Roster Tweaks Continue

At this point, it’s all about hammering out the little details.

After blowing past the Houston Rockets in their second last preseason game, Nick Nurse and the Toronto Raptors continue to get the answers they are looking for when it comes to setting their opening day roster.

Although Nurse did mention that the Raptors will be using the Mississauga-Toronto shuttle frequently throughout the season, there appears to already be a number of locks heading into the season. All that remains really is the latter end of the bench with the likes of Justin Champagnie, Ishmail Wainright, Sam Dekker, and Isaac Bonga all in the mix.

Meanwhile, the Raptors also received some positive news last night in the form of Khem Birch, who was finally able to return to the team after a bout with COVID-19. Now, between Precious Achiuwa and Khem Birch, the Raptors have two legitimate young options at the center spot heading into the season, despite being down a few key pieces.

“I thought it looked good, thought it looked improved,” said Nurse after the game. “It should enable both of them to play six, seven minutes really hard, and the next guy can come in. Khem, it was really his first live action at all so he was a little bit out of sorts. He had a great look out to the corner and chucked in the seats, missed a couple of free throws. Legs were pretty wobbly for him but we’ll get him in shape, get him out there again (Tuesday against Washington) but obviously, it should be a decent combination.”

In his first game back, Birch put in 17 minutes of work, hitting the only field goal he took.

“Who knows? I can probably feel good after tonight’s game or tomorrow,” said Birch. “I usually get in shape quick… right now I’m just gonna go out and play as hard as I can, not worry about the box score, just worry about getting the W. Talking about the role, I haven’t really talked about it yet. I don’t think I’m gonna start. I think we’re gonna take things slowly. It doesn’t matter if I come off the bench or start, it doesn’t matter. As long as we win, I don’t care.”

The Toronto Raptors will play their final preseason game tonight against the Washington Wizards.

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