The schedule doesn’t get any easier for the Raptors as they’ve embarked on a four-game road trip that leads off with a brutal back-to-back in Orlando and Miami. The Magic are typically dominant so far, particularly on the defensive end where they lead the league with just 97.8 points allowed per 100 possessions. On offence, they jack up just as many threes as they always have, but they’re not making them like they used to as they’re 22nd in the league in three-point percentage. Somehow, I suspect playing the Raptors might just be the tonic they need to find their range again, especially since Andrea Bargnani might have a bit of trouble guarding Dwight Howard one-on-one.
Toronto: The injuries are starting to pile up just like the losses. Leandro Barbosa didn’t travel with the Raptors for this four-game road trip, Linas Kleiza is doubtful for tonight with a sore Achilles heel, while Jarrett Jack, Reggie Evans and David Anderson are all probably with various maladies.
Orlando: No significant injuries that I know of.
1. Does Dwight Howard finally have a semi-polished offensive game? According to hoopdata.com, only 22 of his 54 field goals have been made around the rim.
2. Will Julian Wright capitalize on a potential opportunity to show that he should be the starting small forward on the Raptors?
3. Can DeMar DeRozan rediscover his aggressiveness? After earning 22 free throw attempts in his first three games, he’s only gone to the line seven times in his last five games.
4. Does Vince Carter’s hobo beard help his shooting stroke? He’s 52 percent from the field and 44 percent from beyond the arc so far this season.
5. Has Rashard Lewis become the most overpaid player in the history of North American professional sports? He’s making $19.5 million this season while averaging 11 points and 6 rebounds on 38 percent shooting
Start time: 7:00 PM ET
Liveblog: Natasha Alibhai on theScore.com and ScoreMobile
Probable starting lineups
Toronto: Jarrett Jack, DeMar DeRozan, Julian Wright, Reggie Evans, Andrea Bargnani
Orlando: Jameer Nelson, Vince Carter, Rashard Lewis, Ryan Anderson, Dwight Howard
Tonight’s pregame song is “Hate to Say I Told You So” by The Hives. I’ll let you read into that however you want.