Gameday: Jazz @ Raptors, February 10

Toronto looks to earn their longest win streak of the season against the Utah Jazz.

The trade deadline was not without its fireworks and Toronto made sure to get involved with the league’s annual fire sale. They reunited with center Jakob Poetl in an effort to bolster the center position yet, they will most likely be without the new acquisition as the deal has yet to be made official and they will have to try to take down Utah tonight. Without Poetl they will have essentially the same roster as the only player they traded was Khem Birch who found himself outside of the rotation so it’ll be a lineup everyone is used to. 

The Utah Jazz are on a three game losing streak coming into this game and they just traded multiple players that were in their rotation such as Malik Beasley, Mike Conley, and Jared Vanderbilt so they will be a weaker team than Toronto faced in their initial matchup. Even without those players Utah still has the great defensive center Kessler who gave Toronto a lot of trouble last time they faced off along with Lauri Markannen and Jordan Clarkson so it won’t be an automatic victory. 

Utah as a team this season is shooting 36.4% from three and this could spell danger for Toronto as their defensive scheme is predicated on deterring rim attempts and merely closing out to threes, it does help that one of their best shooters Malik Beasley is no longer with the team but they still have some dangerous scorers in Lauri Markannen and Jordan Clarkson. I imagine you put Scottie Barnes on Lauri since Scottie has had success on bigger wings in the past and you leave Pascal and Precious as the low men in order to somewhat patch up the holes on the wing and the point-of- attack. Fred VanVleet’s on ball defense has waned this season so he may have some trouble with Jordan Clarkson, specifically staying in front of him so once again I imagine Toronto has to lean on the backline to help out. 

With Utah being gutted of multiple rotation players their roster looks quite thin and Toronto should be able to take advantage of their bench lineups because once Lauri and Clarkson go to the bench their scoring options dwindle enormously. Collin Sexton would be their best option off the best and he’s been less than formidable this season and Kelly Olynyk shouldn’t cause too much trouble since he isn’t much of an on ball scorer.

On the other hand, Utah just lost one of their better defenders in Jared Vanderbilt and this should make life easier for Pascal Siakam who is coming off a 37 point performance, without Vanderbilt they likely have to put Olynyk or Markkanen on Pascal which is a favorable matchup for Siakam. Fred VanVleet should have an even favorable matchup as well with no Mike Conley and likely Jordan Clarkson on him. Fred should be able to operate in the pick and roll smoothly with a player like Clarkson on him and this should lead to some nice looks for the entire team. It appears as if Walker Kessler will be shouldered with immense responsibility on defense tonight and it may be too much for him to handle.

Game Info

Tip-Off: 7:30 pm EST | TV: TSN 1/4/5 | Radio: TSN Radio 1050

Raptors Lineup

OG Anunoby out(wrist), Jakob Poetl questionable(trade pending), Otto Porter Jr out(toe)

PG: Fred VanVleet, Malachi Flynn, Dalano Banton

SG: Gary Trent Jr.

SF: Scottie Barnes, Juancho Hernangomez

PF: Pascal Siakam, Chris Boucher, Thaddeus Young

C: Precious Achiuwa, Christian Koloko, 

Jazz Lineup

Juan Toscano-Anderson out(Trade Pending), Damian Jones out(Trade Pending), Russell Westbrook out(Trade Pending)

PG: Collin Sexton, Leondro Bolmaro

SG: Jordan Clarkson, Talen Horton-Tucker

SF: Lauri Markannen, Ochai Agbaji

PF: Kelly Olynyk, Rudy Gay

C: Walker Kessler, Udoka Azubuike

The Line

Toronto is favored by 7 points and the Over/Under is at 232.5.

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