This is gonna be a pretty short preview because A) we’re late in writing it, and B) tonight’s matchup between the Toronto Raptors and New York Knicks comes down to one key thing for the Raptors: They desperately need to win to shake them out of this weeks-long funk they’re currently struggling through.
Unfortunately this current iteration of the Knicks isn’t going to roll over. They’ve won eight straight games, including a 132-94 drubbing of the Golden State Warriors just last night (yes, the same Warriors who blew out the Raptors just three days ago).
The Raptors and Knicks are clearly moving in opposite directions right now, but perhaps a collision can put things right for the Raps.
Where to Watch:
TSN, 7:30pm ET
Toronto – Fred VanVleet, O.G. Anunoby, Pascal Siakam, Scottie Barnes, Juancho Hernangomez
New York – Jalen Brunson, Quentin Grimes, RJ Barrett, Julius Randle, Mitchell Robinson
Toronto – Otto Porter Jr. (toe – out), Precious Achiuwa (ankle – out), Gary Trent Jr. (questionable – hip), Khem Birch (questionable – non-COVID illness)
New York – Obi Toppin (leg – out)
Stop wasting Siakam’s brilliant season
As if the losing and overall lacklustre play itself wasn’t bad enough, the Raptors are wasting what’s turning out to be an otherworldly Pascal Siakam seaaon. Siakam, as the only consistent offensive threat on the floor, has shouldered a massive load since the beginning of the season (and worked his way back from injury, too) but no one else on the team is consistently stepping up to support him.
If the team continues its losing ways, it might even impact Siakam’s personal accomplishments — All-Star and awards voters take team record into consideration when casting their ballots. Siakam’s teammates owe it to him to step up!
When you’re in a funk, sometimes getting out on the road can help — a road trip can be a bonding experience and there’s sometimes less pressure playing in front of a home crowd that desperately wants a win.
Unfortunately, the 2022-23 Toronto Raptors are 3-12 on the road, which would be worst in the league if not for the 3-13 Houston Rockets. Thankfully the Knicks are only 8-7 at home, and typically opposing players get up for playing in Madison Square Garden, so that might offer some hope for the Raptors tonight.
NY slump buster
After seemingly breaking out of shooting slump with back-to-back 39-point games against the Sacramento Kings and the Brooklyn Nets, Fred VanVleet’s has shot 10-for-33 in the past two games. Monday night in Philly, VanVleet missed nine three pointers, almost all of them wide open, including two in overtime that were about as open as a player like Fred will see all year.
If there’s a bright spot, it’s that VanVleet seems to like playing the Knicks; he’s averaged 24 points on 48% shooting against New York over the past two seasons.
Let’s hope he’s able to provide Pascal Siakam with a little bit of support tonight!