Where to Watch: Sportsnet 360, 10:00 PM EST
After losing DeMar DeRozan to a torn left adductor longus tendon on Friday and going on to drop games to the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers over the weekend, the Raptors could use a win against the Kings tonight to keep the bad mojo from spinning out of control.
What could end up being a saving grace for the Raptors is that the surprising 9-8 Kings might be without their big man and likely All-Star, DeMarcus Cousins. He's considered questionable to suit up tonight due to a virus that has kept him out of Sacramento's last two games (both losses):
DeMarcus Cousins is at shoot around this morning. Still no word on if he will play tonight.— James Ham (@James_Ham) December 2, 2014
Cousins has been playing inspired basketball this season, averaging 23.5 points, a league-leading 12.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.1 steals, and 1.5 blocks per contest, while shooting 51.2 percent from the field and 80.6 percent from the charity stripe. If the man they call "Boogie" doesn't manage to play, Jonas Valanciunas can breathe a sigh of relief:
DeMarcus Cousins averages 22.9 PPG against Raps, highest against any team. He destroys 'em.— Eric Koreen (@ekoreen) December 1, 2014
Of course, the Cousins vs. Valanciunas matchup would be one to watch closely anyway, considering this is the first time the two have had the chance to meet since this:
This will also mark the third time that former Raptor Rudy Gay will face his old team since the blockbuster trade that took place between the Raptors and Kings almost a year ago to the day (our own Alex Wong wrote earlier today about how well that deal has worked out for both teams).
In fact, this game features six players going up against a team they used to play for, as Greivis Vasquez, Patrick Patterson, Chuck Hayes, and James Johnson are all former Kings, while Reggie Evans joins Gay on Sacramento's roster as someone who once donned the Raptors red, black, and/or purple. You can probably expect some boos thrown Johnson's way tonight, considering he and the Kings didn't end on the best of terms:
James Johnson: "The only thing that Sacramento has that has anything to do with me or that holds any value to me is my son was born here"— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) December 2, 2014
As for how the two teams match up, here's hoping you like free throws; Sacramento leads the league in free throw attempts per game (31.9) and is second in free throw percentage (80.3), while the Raptors come in just behind in both categories (29.5 and 79.9, respectively). Outside of that, the main key for the Raptors will be in keeping the rebounding margin close, as the Kings are third in the NBA in boards per game with 45.7, and the Raptors come in 21st with 41.4.
So, how will Toronto look in its second game, A.D. (after DeRozan)? Is JV still afraid of the "Boogie Man"? Will he even play? Which player is most likely to go off against his former team tonight?
Jump into the comment section and get the discussion going!
Let's start by captioning this: