Gameday: Raptors @ Kings, January 25

The difference in harmony between these two teams is wild.

The dreaded seven game road trip everyone was waiting for has arrived.

Raptors fans will not see their team at Scotiabank Arena again until February 8th, two weeks from now. It’s anybody’s guess what the roster will look like by then.

In the meantime, Toronto will face quite a few exciting teams on the West Coast. Sacramento overcame a 16 point deficit to defeat the Raps in December. Fred VanVleet had a season-high 39 points, one of three times he’s done that this season but missed an open three that would have send the game to overtime. That loss was part of the Raptors season-worst six game slide.

Raptors scope (21-27, 12th in East | Offensive rating: 11th | Defensive rating: 19th)

This might be the best time for the Raptors to be on the road honestly, considering the rumours that are starting to spread like wildfire despite Toronto beating New York on Sunday. There is speculation about Fred VanVleet’s next move after parting ways with his agent Par-Lay Sports. Gary Trent Jr. has been linked to a potential Jakob Poeltl deal. However O.G. Anunoby’s reported unhappiness (not the first time that’s been said) probably received the biggest reaction yesterday.

So in other words, very little actual basketball is on the minds of Raptors fans and rightfully so. As for the team? That’s Nick Nurse’s job to get everyone on the same page.

Lets try to talk about on court stuff. Domantas Sabonis feasted on the boards in the last meeting with 20. The usual center-less starting line-up the Raptors use could prove to be a liability on the glass again. The perimeter defence also didn’t stop De’Aaron Fox from getting into the paint with regularity either and the Kings made 17 threes.

Kings scope (27-19, 3rd in West | Offensive rating: 1st | Defensive rating: 22nd)

Completely switching vibes to a much more harmonious situation. The Kings may be the best story in the NBA this season, going from a laughingstock franchise that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2006 to owning the third best record in the Western Conference. Mike Bibby was in his prime the last time the Kings even had a 40-win season. The Kings recently passed the Celtics and Nuggets for the top offence in the league. Sacramento blew out Memphis without Ja Morant by 33 on Monday thanks to shooting 12-13 from three in the opening quarter (including starting the game 10-10), leading to a franchise record-tying 22 treys.

Sacramento lighting the beam outside the arena after wins this season has become a wholesome moment for long suffering Kings fans, who have seen seven wins in their last eight games.

Mike Brown deserves a ton of credit for the Kings turnaround and will be one of the prime candidates for coach of the year. This hilarious clip from the pre-season is just an example of Brown setting a tone in Sacramento, something he’s done in numerous ways this season. Hell, he even got ejected in the last meeting vs the Raptors after a questionable foul call.

Trading away Tyrese Haliburton was questioned by many but it’s turned out to be a win-win trade that has helped balance out Sacramento’s roster. Fox and Sabonis ignite a powerful Kings offence and could both be all-stars this season (would be Fox’s first). Kevin Huerter and Harrison Barnes provide secondary scoring, both averaging over 15 points. Keegan Murray is having a solid rookie season. Malik Monk is one of the league’s most explosive 6th men. The Kings have a deep roster with defined roles that will be fun to watch come playoff time.

Game Info

Tip-Off: 10pm EST | TV: TSN Sportsnet One/4K | Radio: Sportsnet 590

Raptors Lineup

Christian Koloko is back with the Raptors 905, along with Jeff Dowtin Jr. .and Ron Harper Jr. O.G. Anunoby (ankle) and Dalano Banton (hip) are questionable.

*the “if everyone is healthy” potential lineup*

PG: Fred VanVleet, Malachi Flynn, Dalano Banton

SG: Gary Trent Jr.

SF: O.G. Anunoby, , Juancho Hernangomez, Joe Wieskamp

PF: Scottie Barnes, Chris Boucher, Thaddeus Young

C: Pascal Siakam, Precious Achiuwa, Khem Birch

Kings Lineup

Chimezie Metu (left knee) is questionable with a bone bruise.

PG: De’Aaron Fox, Davion Mitchell, Mattthew Dellavedova

SG: Kevin Huerter, Malik Monk, PJ Dozier, Keon Ellis

SF: Harrison Barnes, Terence Davis II, KZ Okpala

PF: Keegan Murray, Trey Lyles, Chimezie Metu

C: Domantas Sabonis, Richaun Holmes, Alex Len

The Line

Early line from Tuesday night has the Kings favoured by four points. Over/Under is 238.5, thanks to Sacramento having averaging a league best 120.3 points a game.

19 thoughts on “Gameday: Raptors @ Kings, January 25”

  1. LGS: Türkiye’de nitelikli liseye girmek isteyen öğrencilerin katılmak zorunda olduğu bir sınavdır. Bu sınav genellikle Haziran ayında yapılır ve öğrencilerin matematik, Türkçe, Fen ve Sosyal Bilimler alanlarında bilgi ve becerilerini ölçer. Başarılı olan öğrenciler, istedikleri lise türüne girebilirler.

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