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Thread: Sacramento vs. Toronto, January 4th (Battle of 12-20 heavyweights)

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    Raptors Republic Icon mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    Default Sacramento vs. Toronto, January 4th (Battle of 12-20 heavyweights)

    ESPN Preview:

    The Toronto Raptors are playing their best basketball of the season. There's no guarantee that will continue, even with one of the NBA's worst road teams in town.

    Toronto goes for a fourth straight victory overall and sixth in a row at home when it faces the Sacramento Kings on Friday night.

    The Raptors (12-20) are still in last place in the Atlantic Division, but they've made vast improvement in the past three weeks, winning eight of nine.

    Toronto has played 10 straight games without Andrea Bargnani, the last four without Jonas Valanciunas and the last two minus Linas Kleiza, but it's managed to keep on winning. Getting six 3-pointers and 26 points from Terrence Ross and 24 from DeMar DeRozan, the Raptors defeated Portland 102-79 on Wednesday.

    It might have been Toronto's best offensive effort of 2012-13 as it opened a season-high six-game homestand by shooting 53.2 percent and recording a season-best 34 assists. Point guards Jose Calderon (13 assists) and Kyle Lowry (nine) did not score.

    "We started playing the game the right way (after an 18-point loss at Portland on Dec. 10), sharing the basketball, putting more focus on the defensive end," coach Dwane Casey said. "We're a totally different team today, with our approach, than we were then."

    Casey's team has held opponents to 90.4 points per game in the past nine contests, and it's outscored foes 109.7-88.0 during its three consecutive wins.

    While a matchup with the Kings would seem to be a prime opportunity for the Raptors to keep rolling, Sacramento (12-20) took the first meeting 107-100 on Dec. 5. Every Kings starter scored in double figures as the club overcame 34 points and 11 assists from Lowry.

    Though the Kings are 2-13 away from home, they're confident they can complete the season sweep after ending a seven-game road skid with a 97-94 victory over Cleveland on Wednesday. Sacramento, which played without Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton, has won five of eight.

    "We're playing a lot better as a team right now," forward Jason Thompson told the league's official website after scoring 19 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.

    Evans will miss a 10th straight game and Thornton is questionable after sitting out the last two, but DeMarcus Cousins could be a bigger key to the Kings' success. The third-year center is averaging 16.5 points, 12.5 boards, 5.8 assists and 2.3 steals in four games since serving a two-game suspension for unprofessional behavior and conduct detrimental to the team.

    "I want to keep out the negativity and not bring any more negativity to this team," said Cousins, who had 25 points and 13 boards against the Raptors last month. "I want people to be talking positive about Sacramento and what we're doing."

    The Kings ended a seven-game skid at Toronto with a 98-91 victory Jan. 11 behind 21 points and 19 rebounds from Cousins.

    Sacramento hasn't won two in a row away from home since a three-game run March 23-27, 2011.

    Toronto is on its longest home winning streak since posting eight consecutive victories Jan. 17-Feb. 10, 2010.

    http://espn.go.com/nba/preview?id=400278198
    Both teams are playing much better ball over the last 10 games than their season record would indicate. Raps are 8-2 while Kings are 5-5.

    Anyone think JJ might have something to prove?
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    I'm gonna predict Aaron Gray MVP chants tonight

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    Raptors Republic Starter omgsomuchpotential's Avatar
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    A win tonight would be totally logical. However, when it comes to Raptors, you should never base your predictions on logic.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star Mediumcore's Avatar
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    This could be a tough game for us with Cousins on a tear and no JV to try and match up on him. Amir is too small and Ed isn't strong enough. Gray is gonna have to play a heck of a game trying to defend him and stay out of foul trouble. They will probably have to try and double team Cousins at some point in the game. Should be a fun game to watch!

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    Raptors Republic All-Star WJF's Avatar
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    Must win?



    If we are even thinking about playoffs.....

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    Quote omgsomuchpotential wrote: View Post
    A win tonight would be totally logical. However, when it comes to Raptors, you should never base your predictions on logic.
    previously i'd be with you, but with their confidence is sky high right, i can't see them not winning.

    i've also got to think this is a game that's been marked on their calendar, just like every other rematch remaining from that brutal road trip.

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    Super Moderator Joey's Avatar
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    Quote Matt52 wrote: View Post
    Anyone think JJ might have something to prove?
    I think the gripe with JJ was that he always felt he had something to prove.
    If he feels especially inclined to do so tonight, it could work out in our favour. He never performed all that well when he was trying too hard. The beauty to his game is that it could be so effortless for him .. if he just stuck to what he's supposed to.

    Regardless, I think this is a VERY gettable game, with them a few key guys sitting out.

    Quote WJF wrote: View Post
    Must win?

    If we are even thinking about playoffs.....
    Agreed. If we want to maintain any of the credibility we've acquired over the last 10 games, this is a must win.
    "I just dunked. Got a little dunk. Thatís nice." Terrence Ross

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    Raptors Republic Rookie knowledgep's Avatar
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    Quote joey_hesketh wrote: View Post
    I think the gripe with JJ was that he always felt he had something to prove.
    If he feels especially inclined to do so tonight, it could work out in our favour. He never performed all that well when he was trying too hard. The beauty to his game is that it could be so effortless for him .. if he just stuck to what he's supposed to.

    Regardless, I think this is a VERY gettable game, with them a few key guys sitting out.



    Agreed. If we want to maintain any of the credibility we've acquired over the last 10 games, this is a must win.
    +1

    We played some good D on Aldridge, hopefully we can do the same with Cousins...

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    Raptors Republic All-Star tucas's Avatar
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    If they win they've been the best team in the league over the past 10 games at 9-1. They're 2.5 games out of a playoff spot and Boston is facing Indiana tonight and philli is playing OKC. If raptors win and both those teams lose, the raptors are just a game and a half out of a playoff spot. Crazy. #fuckbargnaniwe'dbefirstseedrightnowifitwerentforh im

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    Raptors Republic Starter IROR's Avatar
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    Prediction: JJ goes for 8 rebs and 6 asst, 2 stl, 2 blk....while shooting 1-11 and finishing with a -20

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    Raptors can easily win this game but u never know what the raptors can give u...The way we have been sharing the rock is contagious...demarcus cousins is a guy who won't commit to the inside so we won't have a problem with that..he likes to shoot it also and if he's off in that regard it's a lock for a W.

    GO RAPS GO!!

    p.s Derozan should be on the block and in the paint all night with tyreke guarding him...mismatch!

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    Raptors Republic Superstar BasketballCrush's Avatar
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    Default GT:Jan 4th, Sacramento @ Toronto, 7pm, TSN

    Kings(12-20, 2-13 away)

    vs

    Raptors(12-20, 8-5 home)

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    Raptors Republic Superstar isaacthompson's Avatar
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    I expect nothing less than a 20 point win tonight
    Twitter - @thekid_it

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    Raptors Republic Superstar BasketballCrush's Avatar
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    Happy to be here, flipped my car today, neck is sore, but it should be fine for watching the action.

    ...lets go raps.

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    hey man sorry to hear about your accident. But go easy on those pain pills, there was already a game thread made...

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    Raptors Republic Superstar BasketballCrush's Avatar
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    Sorry did not see it, if the mods can merge it or purge it, its all good.

    lol, no pain pills for me (refused the ambulance, did not think it was necessary, but my roomate still says he think I am in shock so maybe you have a point). If I start cheering for the other team PM me.

    Will join the other game thread, so no need to respond to this.

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    I hope JJ does think he has something to prove, if he takes it on himself to lead their offense we should be in good shape.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star Red and White's Avatar
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    I think the Raptors played up to their opponents vs. the Blazers, lets just hope they dont play down to the Kings.

    Kings can be dangerous. Keeping Cousins on lock is a priority, but lets also hope the Raps can play some of that solid team defence and not let the Sacramento shooters get into their rhythms. I have watched a bunch of Kings games this year and they rally around the three point shot. Its imperative to keep them from getting that momentum.

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