Raptors vs Hawks Gameday Thread: Toronto Hosts Josh Smith & co.

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Struggling Raptors look to get back on track, host the Atlanta Hawks in this Wednesday night match up

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January 30, 2012

TSN2 - 7:30 PM EST


It's been over two weeks since the Raptors played a game that didn't go down to the wire, and leave the losing team heartbreaken at games end.

So that's a good thing... right?

Yes, the Raptors have been competitive, but frankly, it doesn't matter if the team can't win. The Raptors have won just two of their last nine games, a stretch that has featured a 20-point blown lead, three overtime losses, and getting Kyrie Irving-ed.

If the Raptors are going to make any sort of run at the post-season, they need to start winning the close games. And it needs to start now.

We're just over half-way through the NBA season, so there's still time for the Raptors to make a comeback. However, thanks to their upcoming schedule, it's going to be real tough. With the exception of New Orleans, each of the Raptors next eight opponents are in position to make the playoffs; with New York, Miami, and the Clippers highlighting the schedule.

Tonight's opponent is one of those playoff-bound squads, as the Raptors face off against the Atlanta Hawks. Atlanta had a great start to the season, winning 14 of their first 20 games. They've cooled off since then, and currently sit at 25-19, good enough for 6th in the Eastern Conference. The Hawks have been on a bit of a hot streak lately, winning three of their last four, including a double overtime battle against the Celtics.

The Raptors play their first of three matches with the Hawks, and look to get back in the W column for the first time since Thursday.

GO RAPS!!

Notes:

There is a three team deal in place, between the Raptors, Pistons and Grizzlies. The Raptors are reported to receive Rudy Gay + Hamed Haddadi, Pistons will receive Jose Calderon, and the Grizzlies will receive Ed Davis, Austin Davies, and Raptors 2nd round pick.

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