We knew November would be a tough month for the Raptors, but this week is cruel and unusual punishment. One night after a heart-pounding thriller against the defending champs, Toronto will be taking their tired legs to Salt Lake City, where Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors wait for them on two days rest.
The Jazz are feeling good after a 97-96 win in Atlanta on Sunday night. At 5-5, they're starting to realize the potential many experts talked about when pegging this team as an eighth seed in the West. As Sean Woodley discussed in his preview this morning, they've done this on the success of their giant human beings, with Gobert and Favors anchoring a sixth-ranked defense.
Of course, this size extends to their backcourt, where Rodney Hood and Gordon Hayward will present a challenge for DeMar DeRozan, who's shown on this road trip that he isn't shy about isolating against guys bigger than him. As it was against Sacramento and Golden State, the onus on Toronto is to share the ball, not get stuck watching DeRozan pound the rock to oblivion (pun intended).
There's some reasons for optimism. The Jazz are 28th in points per game and we have lovable DeMarre Carroll to guard their best player in Hayward.
Will tonight be the night the Raptors get back on track? Let's get talking in the comments.