Raptors take on Wizards in final preseason game on TSN
Toronto has played well in the preseason, going 3-0 with wins against the Chicago Bulls, Sacramento Kings, and Australian National Basketball League team Cairns Taipans and will end the preseason against Jordan Poole and the Wizards, who are also 3-0 heading into Friday’s tilt.
“The preseason means nothing at all,” Schroder told the media on Thursday. “So that [perfect record] that we have right now is nothing, but it's great that we come together and play how we want to play in the regular season. But I think the real war starts on the 25th, you know, against Minnesota.”
Schroder has integrated quickly with his new team and played significant minutes in Tuesday’s win over the Bulls. The 30-year-old recorded 12 points, four assists, and four rebounds in 28 minutes and said his familiarity with head coach Darko Rajakovic, with whom he previously played under with the Oklahoma City Thunder, and coaching staff has made his transition an easy one.
“I mean, so far, so good. The group made it easy for me. It was an easy transition,” said Schroder. “I know the coaching staff very well. So comfortable. I'm already comfortable here. Like the group, the organization. Everything works well, so just try to get better myself as well.”
The Raptors will enter a new era in 2023-24 and will be without point guard Fred VanVleet after he signed with the Houston Rockets as a free agent and former coach Nick Nurse, who was fired and later was hired as head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers.
Pascal Siakam and Scottie Barnes are expected to shoulder a heavy offensive load for the club this season. Barnes has looked ready for the challenge entering his third year as he has averaged 17.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game in the preseason and is coming off an impressive 22-point effort against the Bulls.
With five days until the regular season begins, Schroder said he expects the team’s chemistry and ability to play together will make them a difficult team to play against once the ‘real’ games begin.
“I mean, every single game we play, I want to win, and then we're going to live with the results,” said Schroder. “You can't win every single game, but we're going in to take people's head off. I mean every single game we want to play. And that's been my way.
“Of course, you cannot win every single game, but if you do it as a team, play together, team chemistry is up. I think that gives you always a great chance to win a basketball game."
In their 28-year history, the Raptors have never finished an exhibition schedule without a defeat.