Tonight, Toronto stays in the state of Texas to take on the red hot Dallas Mavericks.
The Toronto Raptors are coming off of an incredible 22-point comeback against San Antonio. In the first half, the offence was barely even watchable, as I know many on Raptors Twitter turned the game off. The resurgent second half was led by Scottie Barnes, posting 25 of his 30 points in the final 24 minutes, including a clutch step back three to tie the game in the final minute of the 4th quarter.
On the other side of the court, Dallas is off to a tremendous start this season, currently sitting atop the Southwest Division and second in the Western Conference. They’re 6 - 1, with their only loss coming to the reigning champion Denver Nuggets.
You can’t talk about the Dallas Mavericks without the conversation being centred on Luka Doncic. Sure, they added pieces in the past 12 months to better the core around him, but the Mavericks truly are the Luka show and, boy, what a show it’s been this season. Doncic’s 31.6 points-per-game has him 3rd in the NBA so far, while posting the 4th most assists (tied with Dennis Schroder) with 8.9 per game. Add in his 9.6 rebounds per game and he’s not too far from averaging a triple double per game, which makes sense given that he’s already had two this season and already sits 10th overall all time. The 24-year-old has been in many MVP prediction lists in recent years and it looks like he’s gunning for it this season.
Guarding Luka tonight will likely be OG Anunoby, aka the best defender in the NBA. He’s dropped to second in the NBA behind Anthony Edwards in defensive win shares, but you’re still first to me OG. Especially after his performance in Sunday’s win over Victor Wembanyama and the San Antonio Spurs, the Raptors should feel comfortable putting OG on anyone in the league. His height and length allows him to guard all five positions, while being quick enough to defend against guards and wings and strong enough to hold his own against bigs. His defensive impact combined with being Toronto’s most consistent three-point shooter in each of his six games played means Anunoby will need to have another big game tonight if the Raptors want to knock off the Mavericks.
Game details are below:
How to Watch:
TSN, at 8:30 p.m. ET
Toronto: Dennis Schroder, Scottie Barnes, OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam, Jakob Poeltl
Dallas: Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, Derrick Jones Jr., Grant Williams, Dwight Powell
Toronto: Christian Koloko (Out - Respiratory), Precious Achiuwa (Doubtful - Groin)
Dallas: Maxi Kleber (Questionable - Toe), Dereck Lively II (Questionable - Non-COVID Illness)