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Raptors vs Hornets Gameday Thread: Can Dinos Ride Momentum Into Sunday?

It's Chinese New Year celebration day in the ACC, as the Raptors host the New Orleans Hornets, who've been on a hot streak as of late.

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

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February 10, 2013

TSN2 - 6:00 PM EST

The Hornets and Raptors have had very similar seasons.

Injuries to key players have been killer, as the absence Eric Gordon & Anthony Davis for New Orleans, and Kyle Lowry/Jonas Valanciunas/Landry Fields for the Raps, have been major factors in both teams sitting near the bottom of their conference.

Heartbreaking losses have also been the staple of these teams demise, as 15 of the Hornets 33 losses have come by less than 7 points, and you're all well aware about the Raptors struggles down the stretch. As well, the Hornets currently sit at 17 wins, nearly matching the Raptors 18.

The biggest difference between these teams, and perhaps the most worrisome from a Raptors perspective, is that Toronto has entered win-now mode, while the Hornets are in re-building mode. Landing a Shabazz Muhammad or Ben MecLemore type player would be a dream come true for Dell Demps and the Hornets front office, and would likely propel them into playoff contention for many years to follow.

The Raptors, on the other hand, need to win, and need to win NOW. Toronto's outlook on this season is pretty simple: A sucess if you make the playoffs, and a failiure if you don't. In the East, to be a playoff team you must be around .500, and considering the Raptors are 14 games below even, they've got a far way to go. If the Raptors are going to make a run for the postseason, they need start by beating the teams that they should beat. And despite the similarities between these too clubs, the Raptors are a better team than the Hornets, and should win tonight's game. Whether they will win the game, is anyone's bet.