Coming off a pair of disappointing losses to bookend the all-star break, the Toronto Raptors have returned to their winning ways with back-to-back victories over the Memphis Grizzlies and New York Knicks.
With the Minnesota Timberwolves in town tonight, the Raptors will have the opportunity to exact some revenge on one of the teams they let off the hook earlier this month.
Minnesota's record leaves something to be desired, but the future certainly seems bright with Canadian Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns, the frontrunner for this season's Rookie of the Year award, leading the rebuild.
Here are some storylines to keep an eye on as the game unfolds:
The Raptors failed to upgrade at the power forward position at the trade deadline, so Luis Scola will continue to be a big part of this team moving forward. He greatly exceeded expectations early in the season, but he has struggled mightily in the month of February. For the month, he's averaging a mere 5.3 points and 3.3 rebounds while shooting an abysmal 33 per cent from the field. His surprisingly effective three-point stroke has also come crashing back to earth as he's connected on just six of his 20 attempts from deep over eight February contests.
Dwane Casey doesn't appear to be as concerned as the rest of Raptor nation over his big man's prolonged slump:
Casey hasnt considered making a change/questioned my assertion that Scola's struggling. "You say he's struggling, what is he struggling at?"— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) February 21, 2016
Casey on Scola: "With him, he still gives us something: that experience, that steady hand. Luis is the least of our problems right now"— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) February 21, 2016
Beware of KAT
Towns may be a rookie, but he's already taking the NBA by storm. He's not exactly logging meaningful minutes for a contender, but it's impossible to overlook his gaudy stat line of better than 17 points and 10 rebounds per game on 54 per shooting. He also swats away nearly two shots on a nightly basis. The reigning Skills Competition champion had the best game of his career in his last meeting with the Raptors, pouring in 35 points. Toronto had no way of stopping him back on Feb. 10. Will they be able to at least contain him this time around?
DeMar DeRozan became the winningest player in Raptors history on Monday night, and the team has the chance to reach another milestone this evening. A victory would be the Raptors' ninth-straight - a feat the franchise has accomplished on just one other occasion. Additionally, the Timberwolves struggle on the road, going 8-19 to this point with just one win in their past 14 away from the Target Center. With another record on the line, don't expect Toronto to squander an 18-point lead to Minnesota tonight at the ACC.
Where to Watch: TSN 4/5 at 7:30 p.m. ET