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DeRozan leads Bulls in 115-98 win over Raptors


TORONTO – A busy and competitive summer has helped Canadian Dalano Banton feel more confident and comfortable in his second Toronto Raptors training camp.

The 22-year-old from Toronto’s Rexdale neighborhood scored 11 points and impressed defensively in his 17 minutes in the Raptors’ 115-98 pre-season loss to the Chicago Bulls on Sunday.

After the Raptors were soon knocked out of the knockout stages, Banton played in the NBA summer in Las Vegas and for Canada at the FIBA ​​AmeriCup in Brazil and trained with teammates like Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam in Los Angeles.

“My confidence is there,” Banton said. “I feel like with these men looking for me in my position, helping me play to my strengths and trusting me and being with me as a young man has been very good for me. and my growth.

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“Definitely the game goes on throughout the summer – a lot of games through the Summer League, playing (in Los Angeles) and then playing in Brazil with Team Canada. I just feel like a lot of live reps over the summer got me going and I’ll keep running with it. “

His teammates have noticed an improvement in the second-year keeper, who is 6 feet 7 points tall.

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“He seems more comfortable with the readings, with the pace of the game,” VanVleet said. “Obviously, it would be difficult for a point guard (6 foot-7) to fail in the NBA with just the size and lanes available to him, possibly ending up around the perimeter. He’s getting more comfortable with the jump, so it looks like a guy who’s taken that step and feels like a guy who’s ready to break the wheel.”

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Raptors coach Nick Nurse praised Banton’s work in late-court defence.

“He is really good at defence. He’s really remarkable, getting his hands on the basketball and poking around, reaching from the weak side or taking a ball away. He did a good job. I think use that length, and he also has a really good instinct for the position of the ball. “

Those who started in Toronto, Siakam scored 18 points, followed by Gary Trent Jr. 17 points and VanVleet 13 in their only NBA opening game at Scotiabank Arena.

The Raptors made a lousy 22-31 shot from the foul line in a game that featured seven lead changes and was forced six times.

Former Raptors standout DeMar DeRozan scored 21 points in 27 minutes to lead the Bulls (2-1), and Javonte Green came on off the bench with 17 points ahead of 16,559.

The Raptors (2-2) took a 10-goal lead at halftime but fell behind in the third inning. Toronto fought back to tie the game at 87-87 with 7:35 left. The Bulls (2-1) then went on to run 12-2 to seal the victory.

Chris Boucher (left hamstring strain) joins Otto Porter Jr (left hamstring strain) and Malachi Flynn (left cheekbone fracture) on the injury list.

Boucher failed in Houston on Friday and underwent an MRI on Saturday.

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“Don’t take it too seriously, but, like Otto, it’s understandable,” Nurse said. “(Boucher) won’t be with us at all.”

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During their training camp trip, the Raptors traveled from Toronto to Victoria to Edmonton, back to Toronto for a day, to Boston, Houston, and back to Toronto for Sunday’s outing.

Nurse and his players are excited to stay home this week with a range of exercises.

“I would never complain about being the Canadian team,” Nurse said. “But part of it is to play these games in other cities in Canada, and that leaves us with a packed travel schedule.

“Got a lot of places and stay up late a lot, but it’s okay. We’ll be fine. “

NEXT

The Raptors will play the pre-season final against the Boston Celtics in Montreal on Friday and open their 28th season at home against the Cleveland Cavaliers on October 19.

This report by the Canadian Press was first published on October 9, 2022.

© 2022 Canadian Press

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