Who: Toronto Raptors vs. Charlotte Bobcats
What: NBA Basketball – Raptors Home Game
When: 7:00 PM ET
Where: Live at Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON
|Toronto||9-13||101.1 (19)||100.9 (11)||96.1 (20)|
|Charlotte||11-14||94.6 (29)||97.1 (4)||95.4 (24)|
Charlotte: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (OUT)
|PG||Kyle Lowry||Kemba Walker|
|SG||Terrence Ross||Gerald Henderson|
|SF||Demar DeRozan||Jeffery Taylor|
|PF||Amir Johnson||Josh McRoberts|
|C||Jonas Valanciunas||Al Jefferson|
|6th Man||John Salmons||Ramon Sessions|
Spencer: Yeah, it certainly seems that way. This actually may turn into a more efficient basketball team without Rudy Gay on both ends of the floor, but with the plans of unloading Kyle Lowry’s expiring contract with a draft pick likely coming back, all hands appear to be on deck for the tank.
Doug Branson (PodCats Show): THERE’S NO SUCH THINGS AS TANKING! Apologies…I get emotional about this subject. New GM Masai Ujiri is ejecting guys brought in by former GM Bryan Colangelo and shaping this team to his school of thought. By all accounts he’s a smart guy. If you want to call this “tanking” then I can’t reach you. I prefer to think of it in terms of a new administration wanting “their guys” in order to accomplish their agenda.
2- The Bobcats are 2-3 this season in the second game of back-to-backs — in those contests, Kemba + Hendo are shooting a combined 44.7% from the field – definitely respectable. Is this back-court duo the key for W tonight?
Spencer: I actually think that Al Jefferson feasting on Valanciunas is the key tonight — no reason not to expect Charlotte to feed Big Al the rock all night against the second year Lithuanian.
Doug: These two have been the key all season, at least on the offensive end. For whatever reason, Big Al is having a tough adjustment period (or maybe the Bobcats are having an adjustment period to Big Al) so the Bobcats have gone the way these two and their shooting go this season. Kemba finally got it going in the first half against the Kings, as opposed to a slow start and fast finish. Look for that to continue against the Raptors. One thing to watch on defense is how we handle Amir Johnson who has been on a tear lately. We doubled Cousins in the second half last night, will we wait to make an adjustment against Amir or be aggressive early?
3- PICK IT. This one seems to be a toss-up. Who ya got?
Spencer: Raptors. Hard to trust the Bobcats on the heels of a back-to-back, especially on the road. Winnable game for sure, but I’ll take Toronto in what believe will actually be a fairly convincing result.
Doug: Toronto is 2-1 since the trade and are playing with a lot of confidence. They have a balanced scoring attack in Ross, DeRozan, and Johnson that forces you to pick your poison. The Bobcats choose DeRozan/Ross, who we’ve proven we can defend one-on-one and the Bobcats pick up the victory 93-84.