2/9/11

Start Of A Tough Home Stand For The Raptors

These next 4 games at home are not going to be easy starting with the team with the best record in the NBA on their annual "Rodeo Trip" the San Antonio Spurs. So far the Spurs are 3-1 on the trip after dropping the opener to Portland 99-86 who the Raptors will see Friday, from there the Spurs have beat the Lakers, Sacramento and Portland since. This is right smack in the middle of this 9 game road trip for San Antonio. The Raptors come in off a very ugly loss last night in Milwaukee and have lost 13 of their last 14. But the Raptors are on a one game home winning streak with the win over the T-Wolves. Prior to that they had not won since January 9th vs the Kings. No word on status of Jerryd Bayless tonight who did not travel with the team to face the Bucks. Reggie Evans is still at least a week away by all accounts but is looking pretty good from what people are saying. Let's be blunt about it, the Raptors are in tough tonight matched up with the best team in the NBA record wise this season.

The Basics: Spurs 43-8 (4-3 vs East On Road) Raptors 14-38 (4-4 vs West at Home)

When Last We Saw Them: It was ugly pretty much all night as the Raptors shot a terrible percentage and eventually the Bucks pulled away from the Raptors in this one. Beyond Andrea and Demar the Raptors were hard pressed to get points and only managed 74 points just two off the season low vs Orlando of 72 on January 21st. Andrew Bogut again proved to be a problem for the Raptors and they did not have an answer to stop him or Brandon Jennings in this one.

Key Match-Ups: Matt Bonner has been recently out for the Spurs so Toronto may not have to worry about the Red Rocket. Bonner despite the efforts of The Basketball Jones is not going to the 3 point contest either. Bonner has had a nice season with Spurs and has become a decent player for them. All the Red Rocket love aside the most important guy on Spurs to deal with is Manu Ginobili. Sonny Weems struggled guarding the Bucks wings and this is a step up in class from that. The Raptors will also need to deal with DeJaun Blair who ripped apart the Raptors when the teams met up in San Antonio. All this and you also have Tim Duncan and Tony Parker to account for as well. It is in short going to be a tough night for the Raptors and they may not have a clear advantage in any match-up on the floor. If it is DeRozan that guards Manu that would still leave Sonny with Richard Jefferson to deal with. Nothing easy about this one for the Raptors. A glimmer of hope DeRozan poured in 28 in that 104-95 loss vs Spurs. But the Raptors really got beat badly in that game in the paint by Blair and Manu had a big night as well.

Other Things Of Note: I will be liveblogging this one for the good folks at The Score. Also today on Twitter will be announcing the Trivia Question that can make you our VIP Guest at our (Un) Welcome Back Bosh Party that goes down next week. Reggie Evans is going to be a Dad for the 3rd time and the due date is the day the Heat come to town. Not sure if Reggie will be ready for that game and even if he is may have to tend to the newest member of the family. I offered him my best wishes to him and his family, and do the same here in the Dino Nation Blog. Reggie is a good dude and the Raptors really have missed him. They were 8-11 when the big fella went down, and since things have not been as good with other injuries that followed, and a lot of losses. I am down covering the next game as the Raptors may have Brandon Roy to deal with as well as the rest of the Trailblazers on Friday.

Where Is It On? TSN2 ( Sorry Spurs you are the best team in NBA but TSN has to start getting ready for NHL Trade Deadline I am sure you understand )


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