The super team jokes are becoming rather tiresome, but we can’t just let Derrick Rose off the hook that easily. I mean I get it, Rose was called upon to fulfill an improbable role for a team that has had very little success over the past decade or so. He had to say something — right?
The Knicks could be good if everything is to come into fruition, but they have yet to find their stride thus far and sit at 3-5 on the season. After being waxed 115-87 by the Celtics at TD Garden last night, the Knicks will be coming into this one with fresh band-aids on — something that the Raptors must take advantage of early on. Meanwhile, Toronto is coming off a massive victory in Charlotte last night — a place that they have struggled immensely to pick up victories in the past.
The Raptors have gone 8-4 against the Knicks over their past 12 contests, with just two of those losses coming at the Air Canada Centre. It will be a team who has grown extremely familiar with one another in the Raps, against a team that’s still trying to figure out the difference between the triangle and a pick-and-roll. In all seriousness, the Knicks have players like Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis who, if the Raptors don’t buckle down, could swing a game quickly and convincingly at that.
Oh, and can somebody make sure that they are guarding Noah on those 20-footers please? Thanks.
Watch LGHail's Vine "This jumper by Joakim Noah just set organized basketball back 50 years." https://t.co/1SotDrb0u1— The Latest (@latest_is) November 3, 2016
Anyways, here are a few things to watch for tonight:
Melo Vs. DeRozan: Out with the Old, In with the New?
We are not far removed from a time in which Carmelo Anthony was a top scorer in the Association. In fact, it was just four seasons ago that Anthony averaged 28.6 per-game and took home the NBA scoring title. Well Melo, all good things come to an end, but don’t worry — we’ve got you covered.
DeMar DeRozan has been good for a while now, but never this great. The season is still only a few weeks young, but there is no denying what DeRozan has been able to accomplish and his team has been winning in the process. Though the two former Olympic teammates probably won’t be guarding one another, this will still be an excellent match-up for all basketball fans to sit back and enjoy.
The Raptors have silenced all of the critics thus far in terms of their bench play. Many thought that with Luis Scola, Bismack Biyombo and James Johnson being replaced by literal rookies, the Raptors would struggle to find their identity early on. With Terrence Ross and Jonas Valanciunas out with injuries, the bench has answered the call and proved that the Raptors are as deep a team as ever.
The bench scoring for the Raptors over their last five contests has looked like this:
- Raptors - 34, Wizards - 11, — Win
- Raptors - 36, Heat - 29 — Win
- Raptors - 33, Kings - 23— Loss
- Raptors - 38, Thunder - 20 — Win
- Raptors - 38, Hornets - 27 — Win
Needless to say, the Raptors bench has been excellent when called upon, so look for players such as Lucas Nogueira, Norman Powell, Cory Joseph and Patrick Patterson to make their mark in this one.
Each Team’s True Colours
Over the first few weeks of this young season, both teams have built themselves somewhat of a reputation at either end of the basketball court. Simply put, the Raptors have been one of the leagues elite offensive teams thus far and the Knicks, well, they have been abysmal on the defensive side of the ball. The Raptors need to keep that rock moving and attack with speed in order to exploit the Knicks ineptness.
The Toronto Raptors sit at 6th in offensive rating, having scored 110.8 points per 100 possessions so far this season. The Knicks, on the flip side, have a defensive rating of 111.7 — good for 29th in the Association and worse than the Nets, Sixers, Suns and Magic. If basketball is as easy as math, something tells me that the Raptors should find success tonight if they are able to play their game.
Where to Watch: 7:30 PM, TSN4 & TSN1