LaMonster Aldridge is in the Building

After kicking off the first game of their four game home stand with a loss to the Spurs, the Raptors are looking to rebound ( in more ways than one) tonight and get a win against the Portland Trailblazers. The Raptors have lost 14 of their last 15 games and are looking to stop the bleeding and string a few wins together. Brandon Roy and Marcus Camby who have been practicing with the Blazers are not yet ready to return to the court, so they'll be inactive tonight for Portland. For the Raptors everyone is ready to play with the exception of Reggie and Kleiza, and Amir who turned his ankle in the last game, but was able to finish the game, seems to be ready to go tonight.

The Basics: Toronto 14-39 ( 5-14 vs Western teams), Portland 28-24 ( 10-17 on the road)

When Last We Saw Them: As mention earlier the Raptors are coming off a loss t the Spurs on Wednesday. Once again their played the league's best team, pretty well for three quarters, but let things slip away in the fourth quarter. One area in which they got outplayed was on the boards, especially in that fourth quarter. Though they only got out-rebounded by 9, they were unable to secure clutch defensive rebounds and thus the Spurs, especially DeJuan Blair, who was a beats on the boards all night, capitalized on those second chance buckets and walked away with the win.

Key Match-ups: Andrea Bargnani vs. LaMarcus Aldridge. Both of these guys were selected in the top ten in the 2006 draft and have gone on to have pretty solid career's. With the absence of Brandon Roy, LaMarcus has taken his game to new heights and has become of of the better players at his position. He comes into this game averaging 26.8 points and 9.6 boards over his last five games, which included two 40+ points performances and three double doubles, which is 3 more than Bargnani has in total on the season. Going up against a team like the Raptors who aren't praised for their defense Aldridge may have another huge night if the proper defensive adjustments aren't made. Bargnani on the other hand has gotten out of his recent slump and is averaging 27.3 points in his last three games along with 4.7 rebounds. With his ability to make shots from the perimeter the Blazers defense will have to adjust as well, or he'll be having a huge game as well, but it should be noted that he is only averaging 9 points in his career against the Blazers.

Other Things of Note:
  • Tonight's game will be the Raptors 499th game played at the ACC.
  • The Blazers have won five straight games against the Raptors and have swept them in the season series for the past two seasons and lead the all-time series 20-9.
  • DeMar DeRozan is averaging 17.8 points over the last five games
  • The Raptors allow a league-high 48.0 points per game in the paint
Where It Is On: TSN, or you can tune in to the FAN590.

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