I usually don’t go into Raptors games with this dismal of expectations, but when you lose to the winless Wizards and then go into the third game of a home/away/home back-to-back-to-back against a Kings squad that is front-loaded with challenging talent like Marcus Thornton, (who might miss the game thankfully) DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans you can expect a low mood to be creeping into the pages of Raptors Rapture. Therefore I am heading into tonight’s game with zero hope or expectations, if the Raptors lose whatever, if they win, great. Tonight is a write-off (hence the title) as any tail end of a three games in three nights run should be, there is no way to gauge how the Raptors will play tonight.
However there is still hope as the Kings have yet to win a road game, alas the Wizards were winless last night and made easy work of the fatigued Raptors, who will surely be equally as gassed tonight.
But the Kings are also coming off a back to back, losing to the Sixers 112-85 in Jimmer Fredette’s first NBA start in Marcus Thornton’s absence, Jimmer had seven points, three assists, and three turnovers in a less than stellar debut as a starter. But as we saw during his NCAA career, Fredette can light it up in a hurry and still requires the attention of defenders beyond the arc if teams want to keep him from going off.
If the Raptors want to win tonight they will need to protect the ball, their 23 turnovers last night likely cost them the win against the Wizards and would against any team in the NBA, expect a focus on protecting the ball and pounding the rock inside to Bargnani to counteract the Raptors offensive woes last night. Also expect Jamaal Maglorie to see more minutes tonight as the Raptors will look to their bench often tonight to deal with their fatigue issues. DeMar DeRozan will also be expected to bounce back from his rough outing last night.
Sacramento hasn’t won in Toronto since Feb. 22, 2004
Tonight’s game tips off at 7:00 PM EST and is on Rogers Sportsnet in Canada
Marcus Thornton is questionable with a thigh injury
Linas Klezia, Jerryd Bayless, and Aaron Gray are all expected to miss tonight’s game. All three are having their presence missed as they provide second unit depth specifically Bayless who leads the second unit when healthy.