"Behind Enemy Lines"

I know the Raptors' 84-76 win over Dallas was huge for morale but I wouldn't get too excited. They beat a Dallas Mavericks team missing their star player in Dirk Nowitzski and two others in Dominique Jones and Rodrique Beaubois. Now I know some wouldn't be able to pick Jones and Beaubois out of a line up but when you are missing your pivotal player plus two young guns, this means the bulk of the playing time and work falls to the rest of your team who may not be used to their roles changing or need to adjust to the added responsibility. In any case, the Raptors need to build on this and attack this week's games with gusto.

Friday, December 31st - Toronto Raptors @ Houston Rockets

  • The Raptors have played the Houston Rockets one other time this season on November 19th. The score was 106-96 for the Raptors.

  • The Raptors lead the first two quarters of this game and came up with 9 more than Houston did in the fourth to take the win.

  • During this game DeMar DeRozen played 42 minutes and produced 15 points. This is way too long in my opinion and will prove to be detrimental in Friday's game considering the Raptors' current injuries.

  • Raptors' Injuries: out and day -to- day are Andrea Bargnani (strained left calf), Peja Stojakovic (swollen left knee), Sonny Weems (back spasms), Jose Calderon (sore ankle), Jerryd Bayless (ankle injury). Amir Johnson is back in the line-up but also playing through back spasms.

  • Houston's injuries: out with no real timeline for returning - Jared Jefferies, Yao Ming, Ismael Smith.

  • Raptors' key to this game: No more injuries and come out blazing in the first two quarters.

Sunday, January 2nd - Boston Celtics @ Toronto Raptors

  • These two teams have played twice this season and split the wins. November 21 - 102-101 for the Raptors and November 26 - 110-101 Boston.

  • In the Raptors win, all of the Raptors' starting line-up averaged 32-39 minutes, all contributing. DeMar DeRozen had only 6 points.

  • In the Raptors loss, Andrea Bargnani and Hose Calderon averaged 35 minutes each and combined for 23 points. For Boston, uncharacteristically, Rajon Rondo produced only 4 points while playing 35 minutes. However, Boston came out hard and were up by 11 going into the second quarter and the Raptors played catch-up after that.

  • Boston currently sits at the top of the East at 24-6 as of Thursday.

  • Boston's Inactive list: Rajon Rondo, Kendrick Perkins, Delonte West.

  • Key for Raptors: Forget you are playing the top team in your division and come out hard in the first half.

Tuesday, January 4rth - Toronto Raptors @ Chicago Bulls

  • These two teams have played once this season so far - December 15 - Bulls took it 110-93.

  • During this game, Carlos Boozer was the key for the Bulls. His production value was high by playing 25 minutes and putting up 34 points.

  • For the Raptors during this game, Jarryd Bayless was highest in production with 32 minutes, 20 points.

  • On the Bulls Inactive list: Johnlll Lucas, Joakim Noah.

  • Key for Raptors: Believe in your conditioning and ability to go the distance with this team and no silly mistakes like turnovers during transition.

Wednesday, January 5th - Toronto Raptors @ Cleveland Cavaliers

  • The Raptors and Cavs met once this year so far: October 29 - 101-81 for the Raptors.
  • During this game, the Raptors lead the first three quarters in points. The bulk of the points scored for the Cavs came from the bench: Antawn Jamison with 13 and Daniel Gibson with 9; their top two.
  • DeMar DeRozen had a better night versus the Cavs than the last time he met the other opponents he will meet this week: 14 points for DeRozen, 19 for Kleiza and 20 for Bargnani.
  • The last time they met, both teams shared the same record: 1-1. As of Thursday, the Cavs are 8-24 and bottom of the East.
  • Cavaliers' Injuries: Mo Williams (left hip flexor strain), Daniel Gibson (left thigh contusion) - both will be reassessed Friday. Joey Graham (right quad strain) is out indefinitely.
  • Key for the Raptors: Don't get over confident. As of Thursday the Cavs are on a 5 game loosing streak and looking to snap it with help from their bench.

Thanks for joining me today. I hope you have all have a great New Year, be safe and I will see you Tuesday for more "NBAz in 7 Dayz".

1 comment:

  1. For the Boston game, Kevin Garnet will be out.