Team Records: Toronto 17-6, New York 5-20
Where to Watch: TSN2, 6:30 p.m. EST
Apart from your Toronto Raptors, the Atlantic Divison has been an all-time level of awful this season. With every other team below .500, it’s hard to pick your biggest disappointment. Brooklyn puts up a strong fight, but New York has to top the list.
5-20 and losers of ten of their last eleven games coming into tonight, the Knicks have adapted poorly (to say the least) to the Triangle Offence under Derek Fisher. The offence of the last couple years, which is hung up on Carmelo Anthony making jump shots, really hasn’t changed much in the new system. With Iman Shumpert out after dislocating his shoulder on Friday, the lights will shine even brighter on Carmelo tonight, who’s averaged 31.8 points in his last four meetings with the Raptors.
Toronto, meanwhile, is coming off a defence-first win over Indiana. They’ve struggled defensively without DeMar DeRozan (now 4-3 without their All-Star), but held the Pacers to 94 points on Friday. The Raptors are now 9-0 in games this year where they hold their opponents in double-digits. They’re also 10-1 against teams below .500.
The Raps have taken care of business all year. Tonight is another opportunity to do so in their first matchup against the Knicks this season.
Leading the charge will be Kyle Lowry, who averaged a team-high 23.5 points and 7.3 assists against the Knicks last year. With Jose Calderon on him, Lowry will have a chance to feast on New York tonight. Look for him to be active early.
With Orlando coming tomorrow night, the Raptors should look to get a healthy lead and get into their bench. That’s the dream, laced with thoughts of Bruno. Will it become a reality? Let’s hear your thoughts.