Start time: 7:00 PM ET
Probable starting lineups
Toronto: Jose Calderon, DeMar DeRozan, Rasual Butler, Andrea Bargnani, Amir Johnson
New Jersey: Deron Williams, MarShon Brooks, Shawne Williams, Kris Humphries, Mehmet Okur
Toronto: Jerryd Bayless is probably still out with a sprained ankle while Linas Kleiza might be a game-time decision(!).
Cleveland: Brook Lopez is out for another 4-6 weeks and Damion Jones will be out with a sore foot.
The official Raptors Public Relations Twitter feed reported this morning that Linas Kleiza has been cleared to play but no timetable has been set for adding him to the active roster. I have no idea what that last part implies, but it’s good to hear that “the forgotten Lithuanian Raptor” will apparently be back in our lives soon. You know… because Rasual Butler is rather terrible.
I doubt the Raptors will need “the Kleiza effect” to beat this woeful Nets squad tonight. The Nets are 1-6 going into this game and both their offense and defense are second-worst in the NBA — they allow 16.6 points more per 100 possessions than they score. Most gruesomely, they’ve allowed opponents to make three-pointers at a 47.3 percent clip, which is far and away the league’s worst in that category. I don’t know how good they’ll be when Brook Lopez returns, but they’re terrible without him.
- I’m having a hard time not feeling giddily optimistic about the future of this team, at the moment. In particular, I’m fine with giving Dwane Casey a five-year extension RIGHT NOW. We all agree that he’s the best coach this franchise has ever had, right?
- What do you think the chances are that Deron Williams will want to re-sign with the Nets after this season? And if the Raptors turn out to be not-entirely-awful this season, do you think there’s even a smidgen of a possibility he’d consider signing with the Raptors?
I have no idea who made this bizarre video or what it means, but I challenge you not to laugh if you watch the whole thing.