Good news. According to my calculations, things look good for the Raptors this week. Coming off a 5-game loosing streak, they need all the help they can get. The Raptors will be in Orlando and Miami, then hosting Memphis and Philadelphia - all games look good for a win. Sonny Weems was key against Philly and Miami in their last meetings and even with him out on the Raptors inactive list, it is still possible for Toronto to collect four wins this week. Let's dive in.
Toronto Raptors @ Orlando Magic - Friday, January 21st
- The one and only time Toronto and Orlando met this season was on November 12. Raptors took it 110-106.
- DeMar DeRozan and Andrea Bargnani did well against them with 26 and 27 points on the night respectively.
- That night Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson experienced similar production values putting up 25 and 23 points respectively. Mickael Pietrus had 24 points off the bench.
- Orlando Magic Inactive List: Malik Allen and Daniel Orton.
- Raptors need to watch: Jason Richardson and J.J. Redick. They saved the Magic in overtime recently over the 76ers with 4 -point plays.
- Key for the Raptors: Watch for Magic attempting to draw the foul. They have a habit of doing this when it counts.
Toronto Raptors @ Miami Heat - Saturday, January 22nd
- The one and only time Toronto met Miami this season was on November 13th. Miami won 109-100.
- Miami came out strong in the first half and although the Raptors lead the 3rd and 4rth quarters in scoring, it was not enough.
- Top Three that night for Toronto: Demar DeRozan (21 points); Andrea Bargnani (22 points) and Sonny Weems (15 points). Calderon had 15 points off the bench.
- Top Three that night for Miami: LeBron James (23 points); Dwayne Wade (31 points) and Chris Bosh (12 points).
- Miami Inactive List: Chris Bosh is out with a sprained left ankle and likely won't be back until the end of January. Udonis Haslem and Dexter Pittman are also out for the Heat.
- Key for the Raptors: The Heat have been playing out of sync and like they did at the start of the season. They are coming off a 4-game losing streak with Wade (bothered by knee soreness) and James (just back after being off with a sprained ankle) not playing at their full potential. Capitalize on their off-game as of late.
- The Raptors met the Grizzlies once so far this season on December 27th. Grizzlies came out on top 96-85.
- The Raptors came out strong in the first quarter but were dominated in the 2nd and 3rd in scoring.
- Linas Kleiza and DeMar DeRozan were both productive that night - 22 and 18 points respectively.
- The Top Two for the Grizzlies that night: Zach Rudolph and Rudy Gay - 21 and 18 points respectively.
- Memphis Grizzlies Inactive List: Xavier Henry (out 12 games so far with a sore right knee) and Tony Allen (day-to-day with a sore left knee).
- Raptors need to watch: Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol - both putting up double doubles as of late and playing solid.
- Key for Raptors: They need to shut down the Memphis bench. Tony Allen and O.J. Mayo were both strong off the bench in their last meeting with the Raptors. With Allen questionable right now, this may be an edge for Toronto.
Philadelphia 76ers @ Toronto Raptors - Wednesday, January 26th
- Toronto and Philadelphia have played twice so far this season. The Raptors took both contests.
- During their last meeting, the first three quarters were pretty close in scoring with the Raptors exploding in the fourth to take it 94-86.
- Sonny Weems (25 points, 41:43 minutes) and Andrea Bargnani (30 points, 36:44 minutes) were strong during the 94-86 win. DeMar DeRozan was not (4 points, 32:21 minutes).
- Top Two 76ers during their last meeting: Elton Brand (27 points, 40:52 minutes) and Jrue Holiday (17 points, 38:05 minutes).
- Philadelphia 76ers Inactive List: Craig Brackins (re-assigned to the Springfield Arms in the NBA D-League) and Andres Nocioni.
- Raptors need to watch: Evan Turner - he's putting up solid points, grabbing rebounds and playing solid minutes lately.
- Key for Raptors: If DeMar DeRozan is given 30 minutes or more in playing time, he needs to be more productive than 4 points.
Thanks for joining me this week. As always, you can find me on Twitter (@ddegraauw) or on Facebook (Danielle de Graauw, purple jacket/ red microphone). I enjoy hearing your comments - keep them coming. Before we part, I need to tell you about LeBron James' new show aptly titled "The LeBrons". It is about a family with his name and personalities, including: "Kid", "Athlete", "Business" and "Wise" LeBron. Love him or leave him, this show looks interesting and has peaked my interest for at least one episode. It will be coming soon to a computer near you and only available online. Have a great weekend and see you on Tuesday for more NBA coverage in "NBAz in 7 Dayz" right here on the DNB.