Last night the Raptors ended what was their longest active losing streak against a certain team, tonight they look to end their next longest streak against the Jazz. (This just in: The Raptors don’t do to well against the Western Conference) The Raptors have lost twelve straight games against the Jazz and will be in tough against the hot Utah squad that has won nine of its last eleven games.
If the Raptors are going to win tonight they will need another solid performance from Andrea Bargnani, who scored 36 points in his return last night against the Suns and has emerged as the number one option on offense that the Raptors hoped he would be when they selected him with the first overall pick a few years ago. Averaging 26.3 during his last six road games is a good sign that Bargnani will bring his A game and give the Raptors the offensive boost they need to stay in the game.
On the other side of the post battle, the Jazz bring Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson to test Andrea and the rest of the Raptors post rotation. Millsap and Jefferson have been playing great as of late and their physical presence is sure to give Toronto’s young bigs a touch challenge tonight.
Beyond the Jefferson/Millsap combo the Jazz have the high flying fan favorite Jeremy Evans, straight out of Western Kentucky, Evans has had some of the season’s most impressive dunks so far and has the ability to fire up the always loud Salt Lake City crowd at Energy Solutions Arena.
The Raptors had less than twenty turnovers last night in the win against the Suns, ball control will once again be a key as the Raptors have had a tendency to give games away with sloppy passing. Bargnani being back helps the offensive cohesiveness, but the Raptors need to continue to focus on protecting the ball if they want to improve their stagnant offense.
Josh Howard and Devin Harris remain day-to-day for the Jazz. Tip-off is at 9:00 PM Eastern and will be on Root Sports in the United States and TSN2 in Canada.