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Raptors vs. Pelicans: Toronto Looks to Take Advantage of a Depleted New Orleans Team

After a deflating loss to the Houston Rockets on Saturday night, the Raptors look to get back in the win column versus a New Orleans Pelicans team that will be without several key players due to injury.

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Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Where to Watch: TSN, 8:00 PM EST

The Toronto Raptors suffered one of their most embarrassing losses of the season on Saturday night against the Houston Rockets, but have still managed to put up an impressive 4-1 record during this tough stretch of eight straight games against opponents with records over .500.

The opportunity to put the Houston game behind them will certainly be there tonight against the New Orleans Pelicans, a team that has lost four of its last five contests and is currently without three of its best players.

Jrue Holiday has missed the last 18 games for the Pelicans with a stress reaction in his lower right leg and was never expected to play in this game, but New Orleans really suffered a blow when they lost both Anthony Davis to a shoulder sprain and Ryan Anderson to an MCL sprain in the same game against the Miami Heat on Saturday. Davis is expected to miss the next one to two weeks of action, while Anderson is out for two for four, so the Raptors won't have to worry about either player on Monday night.

The last time these two teams faced off was just over a month ago on January 18th, when the Pelicans visited Toronto and defeated the Raptors 95-93 on a last-second layup by Tyreke Evans.

While the absence of Davis, Holiday, and Anderson might relieve some of the pressure of tonight's contest, it's important to remember that both Davis and Holiday were missing the last time these two teams played as well and Anderson was a non-factor. In that one, it was Evans (26 points, five rebounds, five assists) and Alexis Ajinca (22 points on 10-for-13 shooting, 6 rebounds) that did most of the damage in a disappointing Raptors loss. Yes, Alexis Ajinca.

On a positive note, it looks like the Raptors will be getting Lou Williams (ankle) back from a one-game absence tonight:

With that, hopefully the Raps can get back to the rhythm they had going during the four-game win streak prior to the Houston game. Even with that loss to the Rockets, they've held opposing teams under 100 points in each of their last four games and finally look to be figuring something out on the defensive end - an area that has caused them trouble for most of the year.

What are your thoughts on the game? Do you think New Orleans will present a challenge, or will the absence of Davis, Holiday, and Anderson make this an easy opportunity for the Raps to get back in the win column? Jump into the comment section below and get the discussion going!

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