Man, was last night’s game ugly. The Raptors barely squeaked by the Magic 93-91, thanks to Danny Green hitting the game-winner with 0.5 seconds left. They shot 44 percent from the floor and a dismal 9-of-34 from three-point range en route to their lowest offensive output of the season. On the bright side, the Raptors played good enough defense to hold the Magic to only 40 percent shooting and came out on top.
As for tonight’s matchup, Toronto looks to turn their shooting woes around as they face a 3-14 Hawks team coming in on an eight game losing streak. The Hawks defense is what the Raptors will love the most, as they’re giving up the most points per game in the league, and are dead last in opponent’s 3-point percentage.
Hopefully the Raptors can use this game to their advantage, bounce back after last night’s dreadful shooting performance, while getting a big enough lead early so they can get some much needed rest for Kyle Lowry and extend their win streak to three games before Friday night’s matchup against the Wizards.
Here are your details for tonight’s game:
Where to Watch:
TSN, 7:30 PM EST
Toronto - Kyle Lowry, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard (maybe?), Pascal Siakam, Jonas Valanciunas
Atlanta - Trae Young, Vince Carter, Kent Bazemore, Taurean Prince, Alex Len
Toronto - OG Anunoby (wrist - questionable), C.J. Miles (thigh - questionable), Norman Powell (shoulder - out)
Atlanta - Alex Poythress (ankle - doubtful), Omari Spellman (hip - doubtful)
Playing Shorthanded... Again
The last few games have been a challenge to say the least. Down multiple wings due to injury, Nick Nurse has had to force a few lineups out onto the floor just to see what sticks.
Tonight they’re likely going to be without Kawhi Leonard, and it could be a potential rest game for Lowry as well. On top of that, it could still be a few games before we see OG and C.J. in uniform again. The Raptors will need bounce back games from Danny Green and Fred VanVleet, and maybe even a solid spurt from guys like Lorenzo Brown and Malachi Richardson in order to keep a comfortable margin.
One Man Band
The Hawks have some solid young pieces in the early stages of their rebuild, but the only player the Raptors really have to worry about is Trae Young. Trying his best to be the next Steph Curry, Young plays fast and chucks up shots from everywhere on the court.
The problem for him is, he’s only shooting 39 percent from the floor while putting up 15 shots per game, while also shooting only 24 percent from three, which is third worst among rookies playing at least 15 minutes per game.
The Raptors should be able to minimize his effectiveness due to size and versatility of their guards. Lowry can to bully him on both sides of the floor, Delon Wright can be a pest with his length on the defensive end, and FVV can use strength to his advantage and hopefully push Trae into his inconsistencies.
This has a similar feel to the Bulls game over the weekend. Going into the second night of a back-to-back against a weak opponent, coming off a tough game on the road the night before. It’s a matchup of teams moving in polar opposite directions: one that has championship aspirations with multiple All-Stars, and one that’s rebuilding after years of being a middle of the road franchise.
As I noted earlier, the Hawks are the worst team in the league in several aspects. Along with giving up the most points per game, they have the league’s worst defensive three-point percentage, give up the most points off turnovers (while leading the league in turnovers themselves), and they’re tied for third in fouls per game. All of this looks to be the perfect storm for a potential blowout victory for the good guys.