Winter is coming (back) outside right now, and the Raptors are (finally back) in town. Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks are also here, and they pose something of an interesting problem to Toronto. They're not the best team in the league, at 28-37, but they're dangerous. I've been out here preaching the good word of Dirk for most of the day, but there are other guys to consider.
First among them, Harrison Barnes! He's the leading scorer on this team at 20.1 points per game. Who saw that coming? (Even after the Mavs gave him a sizable contract.) The Raptors would also be wise to keep an eye on Wesley Matthews, currently shooting 38 percent from deep, and Seth Curry, putting up 12.9 points per game on 52(!) percent shooting. They won't have to worry about the athleticism of Nerlens Noel -- he's out -- but who knows what the team will get from Yogi Ferrell, Devin Harris and J.J. Barea. Those guys don't quit.
On the Raptors side of things, everyone is accounted for -- except Kyle Lowry, of course. Coach Dwane Casey semi-confirmed before the game that DeMarre Carroll was going to play tonight. I say "semi" because he quickly qualified it by saying DC will go through warmups (like pre-game in Miami) but may not play. Of course, then DeMarre confirmed in 30 minutes later: he's out.
The rest is the same. Just add snow.
Now read the preview and let's get into it. We're coming to you live from the ACC and in the comments.