After a 3-0 homestand, the Raptors look to sweep the MSG end of the series against the lady Knicks tonight. It’s a back-to-back for the Raptors so it’ll be a test of stamina against D’Antoni’s run ‘n gun Knicks squad. The last couple road back-to-backs haven’t been kind to the Raps, we blew leads in Indiana and Milwaukee after strong first halves and have to be cautious of that tonight. The Knicks got pounded by 50 at home by Dallas on Sunday but bounced back by beating Minnesota on Tuesday.
DeMar DeRozan will not travel to New York which means Weems will get his second consecutive start. We beat the Knicks in good fashion 12 days ago despite a very strong performance from David Lee. The game became too close to my liking in the fourth quarter and the Raptors were in danger of squandering the lead if it hadn’t been for some key Turkoglu hoops (8 points in the fourth). It was the last time the guy had a decent game.
The Raptors are tied for fifth for the best record in the NBA since December 4th, that’s the day of the team meeting and around the time Triano finally tweaked his D to not send help every time somebody breathes.
While DeRozan got snubbed for the Rookie-Sophomore game, Knicks’ second-year man Danilo Gallinari made it to the sophomore squad. Last time him and Bargnani had a fairly even scoring battle, but it was Bargnani’s early assault on the Knicks defense that set the tone for the Raptors win. The All-Star reserves are announced tonight and the Knicks are hoping David Lee makes it.
We are 2-8 in back-to-backs this year and have 10 more to come after tonight. Here’s a little tidbit about the three-point streak: It started on February 1st, 1999 against the Timberwolves, reached 500 on February 9th, 2005 against the Bucks and reached 900 against the Knicks earlier this year. Right now it’s at 906. The Raptor hitting the most threes during that stretch is Mo Pete with 801, Carter with 551 and Bargnani with 380. The closest it came to ending was this.
Here’s the lowdown.
Do you want to ask a Raptors player a question? Here’s your chance. Here’s what I’d ask:
Banks: Did Quincy Douby get the better of you in practice?
Bargnani: How often does Chris Bosh invite you over to his parties? Or do you prefer hanging out with Maurizio and use those free Alice Fazooli dinners handed out by the Fan590?
Bosh: You seem like a sensible person, so why would you hire a douchebag to run your online presence?
Belinelli: Are you and Bargnani actually friends? I honestly doubt it because you seem like the clubbing type and he looks like he wants to watch Mad About You re-runs.
Calderon: What’s the La Liga unit you follow?
DeRozan: Why don’t you come down to the CityPlace gym more often? Just take the elevator to P1.
Evans: Which strip-club allows the most touching?
Jack: If Bosh gets traded and this team goes into rebuild mode, would you demand a trade?
Johnson: How much are you paying this guy?
O’Bryant: Were you ever actually any good or is this really all there is to you?
Nesterovic: Care to place a bet that I can beat you in a 100m dash?
Turkoglu: Remember you talked about making “so many friends” in Toronto when you signed? How’s that working out?