So it doesn’t sound like we’ll have Kyle Lowry in action tonight in Dallas against the Mavericks. This is obviously a huge loss for the team, mentally and on the floor.

Luckily, the Mavericks are without three of their top players as well, so the Raptors have a good chance to walk out of Big D with a win. The Mavs will be missing all-world scorer Dirk Nowitzki, utility-man and top rebounder Shawn Marion (knee), and big-man Elton Brand, who is off to tend to the birth of his child (congrats, bro…you and Sam can start a Daddy Day Care).

As it is, with full rosters this is a completely different game for both teams, but in their current injured incarnations, the Raptors appear to have an edge. Thankfully, the Thunder ended last night’s game nice and early, so no Raptor played more than 32 minutes and everyone should be plenty fresh for this evening (8:30 p.m., TSN).

Positional Breakdown
Guard: Jose Calderon (starter), John Lucas and Kyle Lowry (injured) vs. Darren Collison, Jared Cunningham and Rodrigue Beaubois (questionable)
Advantage: Mavericks
While Calderon and Lucas are a better tandem than Collison and Cunningham, Collison is the best point guard in this contest and should have little trouble scoring on Calderon. Calderon’s best asset is how he gets others involved, so perhaps him entering the starting lineup can get Bargnani going early, a necessity with Lowry out. Lucas has had a pair of rough games in a row, but tonight will be his chance to show that his preseason performance wasn’t a mirage and he can provide bench scoring in games that matter. Here’s hoping.

Wings: DeMar DeRozan (starter), Landry Fields (start), Alan Anderson and Terrence Ross vs. O.J. Mayo (starter), Jae Crowder (starter), Vince Carter and Dominique Jones
Advantage: Even
I’ll probably get ripped for calling this even, but DeRozan has been too inconsistent and Mayo too hot to start the season to decisively say that DeRozan is the better player right now. Tom Liston favorite Jae Crowder has looked good in the early goings, and Dominique Jones is dangerous as a combo guard off the bench as well. As for Vince, well…FUVC, and all that. DeRozan really needs to assert himself and attack Mayo, who isn’t always an engaged defender. And Fields, well..at some point some of those open jumpers and floaters in the lane are going to drop. I hope.

Bigs: Andrea Bargnani (starter), Jonas Valanciunas (starter), Ed Davis and Amir Johnson vs. Chris Kaman (starter), Brendan Wright (starter), Troy Murphy and Bernard James
Advantage: Raptors
This should be a huge edge for the Raps, as the Mavs do not run deep in the paint at all. Kaman is big and skilled offensively, and Wright has developed into a nice player offensively with some shot-blocking ability, but playing those two a combined 70 minutes, as the Mavs will likely have to do tonight, it asking for trouble. Murphy, despite having a great last name, is a bit washed up, and we haven’t seen enough of James to really know much yet. Bargnani will be key, as most could have figured out with Lowry injured, as he’s the biggest offensive threat for the good guys. Jonas faces yet another hulking center, but one who he should be able to score on using his quickness. And as is the case most nights, the bench bigs are a huge edge for the Raptors.

Overall Analysis
Mayo is the kind of guy who can generally pop off against the Raptors, especially without Lowry to share some of the defensive duties. Fields will probably draw that match-up more so than DeRozan, since Jae Crowder is less of a threat offensively. This is a game that Andrea should and better take over – he’s been borderline terrible to start the season, and with Lowry down he’s back to being Option Number One. No excuses tonight for Bargs, who needs a 25-8 kind of game. The Raptors should have a significant edge on the glass, but they’ll need to keep Dallas, a team who shoots a miniscule amount of free throws, off the line to avoid giving the advantage right back – the Raptors have the second highest foul rate in the NBA right now.

The Line: Dallas -6.5
My Pick: Raptors by 7

Relevant Stats
O-Rating: Dallas 114.2 (3rd), Toronto 100.6 (22nd)
D-Rating: Toronto 103.2 (13th), Dallas 103.9 (15th)
Pace: Dallas 94.8 (9th), Toronto 94.7 (10th)


  • Dan

    OJ Mayo is more talented than Derozan. He’s just had  better players ahead of him on the roster the last two years so he settled into a role coming off the bench. Not since his first two seasons has he had this many minutes and chances to be the #1 guy.

    • ad

       Definitely. At least mayo doesn’t dribble the ball like a fourth grader.

      • Destro

        Nah he just jacks up shots like a 4th grader….

    • Nilanka15

      Totally agree.  The difference in skill level between Mayo and DeRozan is night and day.  Mayo is a better shooter, ball handler, passer, creater, and he’s noticeably quicker in transition and in the halfcourt. 

      We can only hope that DeRozan one day reaches Mayo’s level of refinement.

  • mountio

    The Lowry injury could be a smal blessing in disguise. Jose has to start, which means no backup 2 minutes, which means T Ross should see a lot more court.

    Coming off some decent garbage time at OKC, this could be just what he needs to get some confidence and get more PT (and get LF on the bench)

    • Matt52

       If we are hoping to get more minutes through for Ross through an injury (I know that is not what you are saying, I’m just making a jest), I would much rather the injury to be Jose.

      **please note I am not suggesting or hoping for Jose to be injured**

      • mountio

        no argument there … Id like even more if it was a season ending injruy to Landry
        **** please note, Im totally fine with a season ending injury to Landry****

        • p00ka

          all class

        • Nilanka15

          I didn’t think a free agent signing could look worse than Hedo, but Fields is gunning for the title pretty hard.

          Where are all the geniuses who claimed it was in poor taste to rescind Fields’ offer???

          • mountio

            Small sample, sure, but He-dont looks v good compared to Landry.
            You “obviously havent dealt with NBA agents” and all the other BS at the time made no sense. Agents arent giving us preferntial deals now, and they will continue to deal with us if we are the highest bidder. Totally agree … thats $20 mm we will never get back.
            And everyone who says “trade for a stud SF” .. with what? No one will take on Landry’s contract (or DD’s for that matter) .. so how the hell can we do it? Trade AB? Ok, but then we are paying DD+LF+ [insert SF] + LK at the wings and have no scoring punch outside of maybe JV down the road up front .. not sure it works

      • FAQ

        … you’re masturbating… openly now…!

  • no diss

    this is the part where jose plays the greatest ball of his life and shows great chemistry with the starters and leads us to a few wins/close games so when lowry comes back there is a quote unquote PG controversy like every year.. i hate being a raptor fan sometimes

    • Phat AlberG

      There won’t be no controversy Kyle Lowry is too good.   

      • no diss

        i know.. but im just saying iv seen this movie before

        • what the

          me too

    • what the

      foreal !

  • ad

    ” And as is the case most nights, the bench bigs are a huge edge for the Raptors”
    Completely disagree. Those two are offensive liabilities and are carbon copies of one another. I dont see any improvement in davis’s offensive game at all. We know what johnson is which is nothing special.

    • Adriiian

      I see Ed taking more shots, making more shots. I feel his offence has improved… Hes hitting little shots from like the radius of the free throw line? How far is that? 15 ft?

    • Phat AlberG

      I love to see one those guys traded having both of them doesn’t make no sense. 

    • pran

      never go full retard like that.

  • Phat AlberG

    Is Josh Howard playing anywhere??

  • FAQ
    • Nilanka15

      LOL, how is this “news” in the UK?

  • Dex613

    horrible start to the game. Toronto needs to avoid taking so many long jumpshots and start driving the ball to the hole.

    • Anthonyy

      Has anyone noticed that it seems like derozan is looking to get signed by jordan brand . Every game its a different pair of jordans smh !!!!

      • Dex613

        i have no clue i wasn’t paying attention to his shoes. I’m pretty sure he was with nike and using the kobe’s last season

        • Anthonyy

          @ brooklyn -jordan 5
          Vs wolves-jordan 10
          @okc-jordan 13
          @ mavs jordan 9

          • Dex613

             i’m guessing he’s wearing them because they’re more comfortable and better looking or he’s just got a thing for them this year

  • Destro

    2:50 mark 1st qtr : Mavs missed jumper off side rim..Bargnani watches it bounce by him to Troy Murphy for a jump shot…

    *sums up his sorry ass career in one play*

    • what the

      every fn trip down the court please give AB13 the ball he’s fucking back folks!

      • Destro

        yea he starts hitting shots when the games over,such heart!

        and hes D fcks sucks regardless of the score !

  • FLUXLAND

    00:00 remaining in the 1st.  2 assists 5 rebounds in 12 minutes of pro ball. Le *sigh*. 

    ==
    Last game JV is celebrating a lucky hook, down 20. Today, grinning on the bench, down 10. This team suffers from permanent SonnyWeemsitis.  Does anyone give a f?

    • hater

      dumb shit

  • Dex613

    36 points in the first q what the hell? at least put up a fight dont just roll up into the fetal position while getting your ass kicked. this is embarrassing..

  • Destro

    Glad i got NBA pass i dont have to watch this bullshit team and this bullshit coach…this teams a mess…Bargnani should not get back in the game for that lazy ass BS in the 1st,fckn his ass sit him this game….Jonas games needs a ton of work,truthfully hes not as advanced as dumbassed here thought…his D suffers from alot of mistakes…

  • Dex613

     get a load of fields missing lay up’s on back to back nights. he needs to just relax and let the game come to him

  • Dex613

    bargnani is having a good game offensively so far, but that isn’t usually his problem. his defense is unbearable

    • Destro

      Theyre behind by 13-15 pts through out the 2nd qtr….

      “his scoring kept them in the game” LOL

    • what the

      i know, but we just have to live with it and let him do the “complicated “stuff

    • Scottbbaird

      Bargs with a “personal best” 9 boards though 😛

      • Dex613

        he really stepped it up in the second half I’ve got to give it to him. he was going after some rebounds like they were a bowl of primo pasta

  • Ppellico

    damn…what any ugly game

    and getting hard to root for gray tnight.
    really bad choises.
    should have taken his dunk…passed out instead.
    stupid tech foul.
    should have gone for the ball….

    man oh man..

    • BlakeMurphy

      Glad you’re joining me haha

  • what the

    i’m watching this game and i’m thinking  AB13 needs to get more touches

  • THE

    HOW IT ANDERSON IN THe NBA! GET THIS GUY OFF OUR TEAM PLEEEEEEEASE, I WOULD RATHER HAVE DEROZAN PLAY THE 3 WITH ROSS PLAYING THE 2, JUST THE SHITTIEST PLAYER EVER!

    • Phat AlberG

      I fully support this statement^^^^^^

      • mountio

        Me too

  • Phat AlberG

    Is Anderson Michael Jordan?  Because Casey sure draws up a lot plays for him

  • Phat AlberG

    Why doesn’t this team play with urgency?

    • what the

      it can’t with Dribbles at the control

  • what the

    “the alarm clock has gone off”

    • Dex613

       too little too late

  • Dex613

    I like Dwayne Casey as a coach but he should NEVER use a lineup of Lucas Anderson Mcguire Acy Johnson. Johnson had a good game, Mcguire did a good job containing Mayo in the fourth. As for Anderson I just think he had an off game but all of these guys on the floor at the same time doesn’t work