January 22, 2014
Sportsnet - 7:00 PM EST
The Toronto Raptors beat the Dallas Mavericks in Dallas back in December in what was effectively the launching point for their recent streak of excellent playing of the basketball.
Well, recent as in, up until a week ago.
As we've been discussing a lot in this space over the last seven days unfortunately, the tide has turned a bit for Toronto and suddenly the team finds itself fighting to stay above .500 and trying to stop from losing four of their last five games.
And we shouldn't be looking to tonight's match-up as an easy way to put a stop to the team's recent ails. Dallas sits with a 25 and 18 record and is firmly in the hunt for a playoff spot in the uber-competitive West, and after a win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday, is 11 and 4 against Eastern Conference teams this season.
The Raps can make nice with former Dinos Jose Calderon, Shawn Marion and Vince Carter pre-game, but when the ball goes up, the club needs to put on their hardhats and go to work. A Bobcats-esque effort against Dallas tonight just isn't going to cut it.