1/4/11

Bargs Back As Raptors Back On Road

Paul Jones via Twitter says that Andrea Bargnani took part in practice with the team and is likely to go tonight and will be officially listed as probably for tonight's game. The Raptors have not exactly been setting the world on fire without him so that is welcome news. Not sure of the status for Weems and Bayless but likely they both are out but who knows. The Raptors will take whoever they can get that is healthy enough to put on a uniform. Chicago put the boots to the Raptors in a visit to the ACC and are playing some really good basketball of late so it will be a tough challenge for the Raptors tonight. They will be minus Noah though who after a great performance vs Toronto was forced from the Bulls line-up and is out for a long time yet. But Derrick Rose is good to go and he in his short NBA career has had a lot of success against the Raptors.

The Basics: Toronto 11-22 (4-12 on Road) Chicago 22-10 ( 14-3 at Home)

When Last We Saw Them: The Raptors gave a game effort but in the end faded to a more talented Boston Celtics club. Rajon Rondo returned which was good news for Boston who were without K.G. The lone bright spot aside from the Raptors hustle and fight being undermanned was the fact Demar DeRozan had another good night. After a career high 37 he followed it up with 27 on his home floor at the ACC. DeRozan for whatever reason has been better on the road versus at home. So it was nice to see a solid performance in front of what was a sellout crowd at the ACC.

Key Match-Ups: Rose against Calderon should be a big advantage for the Bulls. Calderon turned his ankle late in the Boston game and has been in and out of the line-up with foot/ankle issues. Calderon at 100% has a hard time staying in front of Rose. Carlos Boozer and Amir Johnson will match up and the key for Amir is to stay in the fight and avoid getting into foul trouble. If the Raptors have to turn to Ed Davis my guess is Boozer eats the rookie alive. Andrea Bargnani if he returns would have no one at the center position that could offer him much of a challenge. Kurt Thomas will challenge him on the glass and inside but is not going to be any match for him on the outside. Even if Bargnani is not at 100%.

Other Things Of Note: We at the DNB have added a staff member. Ryan Richard is joining our staff as our DNB Intern of sorts. You may know him better as @Ronny006 on Twitter. He is a big Raptor supporter and a real hoop junkie. He also likely knows what the hell "The Dougie" is and other things you young people know. I felt a good dose of youth would be good for the Dino Nation Blog. After all, the Raptors have a ton of it, so why not have someone closer to their age writing for us. Ryan is going to have his own feature and will be filling in for me from time to time when my Score schedule and the Raptor schedule are not in harmony. I am convinced he will make a positive addition to our team joining myself and Danielle. I had said in November that we were likely going to expand the blog to add more people. So this is likely not a surprise. But it is important to me we find the right people. I always make choices that will add to what we do and people that I am confident that will treat you the readers well and add to your enjoyment of the Dino Nation Blog.

Where Is It On? Rogers Sportsnet (RAPS ON MAIN CHANNEL WOW!!!)

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