Where to watch: TSN 2
After defeating the Pacers in Indiana, the Toronto Raptors return home for their second night of a back to back to face a well rested Sacramento Kings squad. Somehow, the scheduling gods have allowed Sacramento to have the last four nights off. There are rumours that the higher ups in the league foresaw what will forever be known as the "Klay Thompson Game" before the season started and chose to give the Kings the multiple days off to recover and refresh. Fresh legs aside, the 16-27 Kings are better than their record suggests. With victories over quality teams like Portland, San Antonio, the Los Angeles Clippers and Chicago, the Kings are capable of monster games.
The bad news for the Raptors is that they will have to find a way to deal with bona-fide All Star candidate DeMarcus Cousins who has become a legitimate challenger to the claim for best center in the league with his play this season. Flanking him will be the talented yet streaky former Raptor Rudy Gay, and Darren Collison who has been having a breakout season as a full-time starting point guard with averages of over 16 points and just under six assists a game.
The good news for the Raptors is that the Indiana game may have been the best that DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry have played together since DeMar's return to the lineup. Despite Dwane Casey's reluctance to play Jonas in the clutch, I'll be surprised if Valanciunas doesn't see a lot of minutes given that he may be the only Raptor that has a chance to match Cousins' physicality.
One last thing to look out for will be James Johnson's minutes. Despite his limited to non-existent role in the past few games, Johnson may get a chance to show his value to match the size on the perimeter that Rudy Gay and Derrick Williams bring. Either way, this should be a fun game and one in which the Raptors will have to earn their 4th straight win.
Lets get into it!