Rumour has it the Raptors play the Cavs tonight at the ACC. They just spent like two or three weeks out the country.
With the Cavs comes last name King, first name The. He's got a reputation for himself now. He learned the game from William Wesley, you can never check him. But DeMarre Carroll will try.
Neither team is goin' back to back. They won't looked drained, they won't look exhausted. They're feeling good, living better. But despite the rest, both teams (are we talkin' teams?) are banged up. Mo Williams has a sprained ankle man that ain't nothing to play on. Timofey Mozgov's on the second floor of Tootsie's getting shoulder rubs. Kobe broke Jonas' metacarpal so hard you would swear he had a hit list.
Ever since Tristan Thompson left the city him and the Raptors just don't get along. After trying to rebound next to Bismack Biyombo in the starting line-up there's a good chance he'll be running through the six with his woes.
Cory Joe is playing like the new 6-man. (Listen to The HeadQuarters to hear us talk about that).
Kyle Lowry is overdosed on confidence right now. Banners are ready in case we need to retire his jersey. 6 G-O-D; he's the holy one:
Cleveland has a really big team, and they're looking for some really big rings. The Raptors will probably have to score more than 0 to 100 points to keep up with the NBA's third best offense.
So what should we be looking for in tonight's game? You're searching for answers, I do not know nothing.
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I'm sorry for that intro. Mike Wilbon or Tony Kornheiser would have never written something so heinous. But we get one Drake Night every year - it has to be done properly. To the basketball!
If you're a Raptor fan, you're in for something brand new on Wednesday night. For the first time since he came into the league, the Raptors have a player capable of at least respectably matching up with LeBron James. DeMarre Carroll will get his first chance to guard LeBron since the Eastern Conference Finals last year, where he embraced the gargantuan task of stopping 2015 Playoff LeBron with a bum knee.
Carroll's done a stand-up job pestering opposing team's best players this season. Most prominently, we saw Carroll hold Paul George to just 17 points on 4 of 17 shooting in a defensive performance that looks more impressive with every game the resurgent Pacers star plays. So far this season Carroll is holding opponents to just 30.5 percent from three and 33.7 percent from 15 feet and out. LeBron will get his - he usually does - but it will be nice to finally feel as though a Raptor has a chance of at least making it difficult for the King.
If the Raptors were catching the Cavs at a different time, the team's struggling bench and suddenly apparent lack of depth might have been exposed to the extent that the starters couldn't make up the difference. As it turns out though, the defending Eastern Conference champions are dealing with their own injury concerns and out-of-whack rotations in the wake of injuries to Kyrie Irving, Iman Shumpert, Timofey Mozgov and Mo Williams (who is day to day and might play Wednesday night).
In Monday's win over the Orlando Magic, Matthew Dellavedova - who has played four minutes per game this season - was forced into 24 minutes of action in a starting role. Without a true back-up point guard kicking around, Jared Cunningham played roughly eight percent of all the minutes he's accumulated since entering the league in 2012 (27 of 349 career minutes). Richard Jefferson is averaging 24 minutes in year-15 as well.
Yeah... this team is depleted.
Because of the rash of injuries the Cavs are up against, there could be an opportunity for the Raptors to take advantage when the David Blatt is forced to step away from his still-excellent starting unit. In that game against the Magic, the starting group of Dellavedova, J.R. Smith, James, Love and Tristan Thompson was a fantastic +25 in 18 minutes while all of the Cavs other lineups combined for a -11. There's no way Blatt can have any trust in his bench right now. As a result, this could be the best chance for the Raptors to steal a win against the East's best team this year.
The Raptors will debut their OVO themed jerseys on Wednesday in honour of the Global Ambassador.
The gold and black colour scheme has never been my cup of tea - thank the mid-2000s Washington Wizards for that. But with how sharp the Raptors new black-with-red-trim uniforms look on the court, I have high hopes for tonight's aesthetics. Let's just hope the Cavs wear their whites instead of their blinding yellow threads.
Get you're twitter fingers ready. It's gonna be hot up in the 6ix for Drake Night.
Where to Watch: TSN 1/4, tip-off 7:30pm EST