A Date With Royalty For Raptors

Tonight the Raptors start their west coast road trip (Kings, Jazz, Lakers, Portland)

The Basics: Kings 2-1 (This is their Home Opener) Raptors 1-1 (First Road Game)

Last Time We Saw Them: The Raptors come into this game after a dominate pizza producing win over the Cavs. Andrea Bargnani led all scorers in the game with 20. Reggie Evans continued to dominate the glass with 14 rebounds. Kings played the same Cavs the next night in Cleveland and won by just a slim 107-104 scoreline. DeMarcus Cousins had 14 points and 10 boards and Evans after having to sit out the 1st game of the year looks good as ever with 21 points 7 rebounds and 6 assists. He is a triple double waiting to happen.

Key Match-Ups: Obviously when you play Sacramento the match-up that is most important is the one with Tyreke Evans. Jarrett Jack will have a long night at the office tonight. But the other match up I am interested in will be Andrea Bargnani vs Demarcus Cousins. Now they may actually switch on this and have Landry on Bargnani and Evans vs Cousins. Regardless Andrea is going to be matched up with a traditional big that will bang on the glass. It also means that same big will be forced to get out of the paint to guard Andrea. 28 points and 0 rebounds? That might be an Andrea line for tonight.

Other Things To Note: The Raptors have always been brutal in Sacramento. They are a terrible 2-12 all time at Arco Arena. This might be the most winnable game the Raptors have on this road trip despite the past history. Then you look at the Raptors overall success on the west coast which is terrible as well. Being the home opener at Arco will not make it any easier. Arco was for years one of the loudest and toughest places to play in the league. Those days have kind of gone away but if the Kings can't get people in the building for the home opener they have larger issues than a game vs the Raptors.

In Case You Missed It: Couple things from the DNB on the weekend. First we had some fun with Halloween giving some costume Ideas for most of the people we love as part of our Raptors family. Check them out if you missed them. Also if you are not an early riser you might not be aware I am back on The Team 990 in Montreal on Saturday's for another season. But if you miss it live you can catch it here every Monday.

The Extra Point: This is your big debut on Sportsnet 1. For those of you unable to get that network you are out of luck like back in the TSN 2 days. The Raptors need to find a way to fix this. If you are serious about maintaining your fanbase you need to make it easy or even possible for fans to see your team play games. This is basic common sense marketing. I don't care how much MLSE gets from TSN or Rogers it does not make up for the fact you are upsetting your loyal fans. You go to the effort of having training camp in Vancouver and travel to Montreal to build a fanbase nationally. Well T.V is your best tool to do that and having your product on secondary networks is not the way to do it. Secondary network sends a message of a second rate product. Do you really want that to be the perception of the Raptors?

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