1/8/11

The Boys are Back in Town to Host the Kings

Finally, the Raps have come back to the ACC. After embarking on a three game road trip in which they went 1-2, the boys return home for a Sunday afternoon against the Sacramento Kings, which would be the first of a three game home-stand, before the team once again heads out on the road for a five game trip. The Kings on the other hand are coming off a huge victory against the Nuggets and will be playing the first game of a six game road trip. Last time these teams met the Kings walked away with a 111-108 victory in Sacramento. The Raptors have had the Kings number at the ACC though as they currently have a six-game home winning streak against the Kings, with Sacramento’s last victory being almost six years ago on February 22, 2004. Both teams are amongst the league leaders in offensive rebounding, Kings ranked 3rd with 13.2 per game, and the Raps at 5th with 12.3, so the battle on the boards should be one of epic proportion. The Raps may once again be shorthanded though as Jerryd Bayless who missed the last game in Boston, is listed as day-to-day, and Sonny Weems, who has missed the last ten, is listed as doubtful, not to mention the injuries of Reggie Evans and Peja Stojakovic.

The Basics: Toronto 12-24 ( 11-18 all-time against the Kings, 9-5 at home), Sacramento 8-25 ( 4-8 against the East)

When Last We Saw Them: When the Raptors last played against Boston on Friday, the Celtics were putting on a clinic, Luke Harangody was having the best game of his career and Boston won their 3000th game in franchise history, joining the Lakers as the only teams to accomplish that feat. DeMar DeRozan led the Raps with 20 points, as he continues to show that he'll be a force in this league and Andrea Bargnani added 17.

Key Match-ups: The Kings front-court made up of Samuel Dalembert, Jason Thompson, Carl Landry and DeMarcus Cousins will be doing battle on the glass against Amir Johnson, Andrea Bargnani, Ed Davis and Joey Dorsey. Though the Amir-Cousins matchup will be great to watch, the battle of the rookies should be more entertaining. Cousins comes into this game averaging 21.8 points and 9 boards in his last five games and has really started to show his potential after being a bit immature to start the season. Davis on the other hand hasn't been much of an impact offensively, but he's been solid on the boards and on defense averaging 5.7 boards and 1 block in only 20 minutes of play. The battle of the benches is also a key match-up to look forward too. With players like Omri Casspi, who can provide a spark off the Kings bench, players like Barbosa and Wright will have to also produce as the team with the better bench may eventually win this game. Sophomore guards Tyreke Evans and DeMar DeRozan going up against each other is yet another intriguing match-up to keep an eye on.

Other Things of Note:
  • Raptors come into this game averaging 100.56 points at home; Sacramento averages 101.27 on the road
  • Toronto is 7-3 when leading at the half and 10-1 when they have a better FG% than their opponent
  • Sacramento is 4-3 in games decided by 3 points or less

Where is it on?: TSN (yea that's right, another Raptors game will be aired on the main channel)

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