Stock up and stock down for Game 1

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Toronto Raptors

Toronto Raptors – Fred VanVleet (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

The Toronto Raptors season is finally underway and the team is in the win column. Whose stock rose and whose fell after the season opener?

After five long months, we’re finally back. Toronto Raptors basketball is back and the champions have the ball rolling for the season. Sure, it’s only one game, and one game a season does not make – but we have signs of life, finally.

For those of you don’t know, this column is the self-proclaimed “greatest weekly column from a Raptors writer who lives in Glasgow” in the history of everything. Each week we take a look at the performances of individual Raptors players and dissect them in turn – figuring out whose playing time was met with a buzz, and whose was met with, well, disappointment.

There isn’t much to really pinpoint so far this season since we’re only one game in. But, as defending champions for the first time in franchise history, the Raptors have a lot to look forward to this season; and it started with an emotional coronation in front of a raucous Scotiabank Arena.

Toronto isn’t Titletown, it’s not blessed with a recent winning culture like Boston – mostly because of the New England Patriots and the Boston Red Sox – or with the pull of rubbing shoulders with the stars in L.A. It is, however, full of some of the most dedicated fans in sport, and they let their stars know just how much this championship meant to them.

It meant a lot to the players and coaching staff too, obviously. Even months later, it’s an overwhelming occasion – Serge Ibaka cried during the ceremony for pity’s sake. This was a lifetime of hard work paying off.

And the rings, oh friends, the rings are incredible. The biggest championship ring in NBA history. Go big or go home was the cry, and boy did the Raptors go big.

There was still a game of basketball to be played at the end of it all, and without giving too much away immediately, it was pretty good overall. The Raptors are 1-0 on the season after opening with a 130-122 overtime win vs the New Orleans Pelicans sans Zion Williamson. His loss was a bummer, but the Pelicans still made it a largely competitive game.

In truth, there was a lot to like, and there were some less desirable moments. Stock went up and stock went down. We have to start somewhere though, so let’s just get the bad juju out of the way.