The Toronto Raptors returning forward Bruno Caboclo and 2015 second round draft pick Norman Powell came ready to play in this year’s opening Summer League game against the Sacramento Kings. Caboclo showing confidence in his silky-smooth jump shot as he nailed three of his five three-point attempts and scored 15 points. Powell seeming to blow by the Kings defenders at will on his way to scoring 20 points on 8-15 shooting in just just over 24.5 minutes of action. They were the stars of the night.
Toronto’s renewed focus on defense was on full display as well in this game as they manhandled the Kings 90-68, winning each quarter along the way. The Kings were held to just 37.1 percent shooting from the field and turned the ball over 24 times to surrender 36 points. Even with the 7’5 Sim Bhullar and the 2015 sixth overall draft pick 7’1 Willie Cauley-Stein manning the middle, Sacramento was outscored in the paint 48-30 by Toronto.
Bhullar, who will be joining Team Canada for the Pan Am Games in a few days, was held to just 4 points, 10 rebounds and a blocked shot in 20.5 minutes. Cauley-Stein fared a little better scoring 11 points, grabbing 5 boards, 2 blocks and a steal in 19.5 minutes.
Possibly overlooked because of the show being put on by Powell and Caboclo was some outstanding point guard play by this year’s 20th draft pick Delon Wright. Wright had 9 points, 9 assists and 2 steals in just over 22 minutes and the Raptors offense looked pretty smooth with him on the court. His three-point shot wasn’t falling, but Summer League provides an excellent opportunity to get used to NBA range.
In an unfortunate recurring theme, Raptors center Lucas Nogueira left the game three minutes into the second half with left hamstring fatigue. The long lanky 7-footer was playing well, using his speed, quickness and athleticism to quickly put up 10 points, 5 boards, 2 blocks and a steal. He was on his way to a big game.
Nogueira had persistent issues all of last season with his groin and hamstring. He should bounce back, but getting stronger to avoid these problems next season was a priority for Nogueira this summer. This wasn’t the sign everyone was hoping to witness.
Except for the concerns surrounding the possible injury to Nogueira, the Raptors young prospects got off to a great start in Summer League with Caboclo and Powell stealing the show.
“(The D-League) was an amazing experience except I got hurt again,” Nogueira told Pro Bball Report. “This offseason will be more special because I got hurt again, so I have to figure out what I will do with my body.”