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Raptors vs. Hornets: The Boys are Back in Town

For the first time since December 21st, the Raptors are back in action at the ACC tonight.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Team Records: Toronto (24-10), Charlotte (13-24)

Where to Watch: Sportsnet, 7:30 PM.

Coming off an UGLY end to their six game road trip with a stinker in Phoenix on Sunday, the Raptors are back at home for the first time in 2015 facing the middling Charlotte Hornets tonight at the ACC.

While tonight was originally anointed as the return date for DeMar DeRozan, the Raptors will look to get back to their winning ways on the shoulders of Kyle Lowry and Co.

The Raptors have fallen all the way to 22nd in defensive efficiency in recent weeks, and need to elevate their play back to a top ten level to match their offence if they want to remain contenders in the East. Tonight would be a great opportunity for the Raps to get their defence back in order against a Charlotte team that struggles to score, especially with their low post stalwart Al Jefferson out with an injury.

The matchup of the point guards will be the one to watch tonight (when isn't it in today's NBA?) as Lowry will face off against Kemba Walker, who will also be in fine form coming off a game winner last night against the Pelicans. While both players can score at will throughout the game, it will be whichever puts forth a stronger individual effort on the defensive side of the ball that could swing the game.

With the Kyle Lowry All-Star campaign in full swing, I expect him to put on a show tonight for the home crowd that hasn't yet been indulged to Raptors basketball in 2015, leading the Raps to a rebound win to kick off this home stand.

What do you guys think? Follow along in the Game Thread.