Paul Millsap

Start time: 9:00 PM ET
Channel: TSN2
Probable starting lineups
Toronto: Jose Calderon, DeMar DeRozan, James Johnson, Andrea Bargnani, Aaron Gray
Utah Jazz: Devin Harris, Raja Bell, Gordon Hayward, Paul Millsap, Al Jefferson

Injury report

Toronto: No injuries reported.

Utah: Al Jefferson and Josh Howard are probable while Jamaal Tinsley is questionable for tonight.

Last night, the Raptors broke a 14-game losing streak against the Phoenix Suns. Tonight, they’re in Utah to try to end a 12-game winless run against the Jazz. When you’ve been as bad as the Raptors have been for a while, you tend to have streaks like this.

The Jazz have always been a tough team to beat in Salt Lake City, but they’re been even tougher than expected so far this season with an 8-2 record at home (10-5 overall). Their two home losses were both by three points — they lost to the Lakers in overtime and the Mavericks in regulation. A lot of the credit for their early success has to go to their beastly frontline of Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap. In particular, Millsap has been an absolute monster — he’s currently third in the NBA in Player Efficiency Rating (PER) behind LeBron and Kobe.

I usually roll my eyes when commentators talk about “key matchups” before NBA games, but that term definitely applies to the matchup of Millsap vs. Bargnani tonight. Which will cause more problems for their opponent: Bargnani’s length or Millsap’s strength? Bargnani almost certainly has to outperform P.M. Brawn (TM) tonight if the Raptors are going to pull off an upset.

Random thoughts…

  • Does it strike anyone else as odd that the Jazz haven’t played since Saturday? I didn’t think any NBA team was allowed to have two consecutive days off this season.
  • Kudos to #TBJ commenter “Norb” for his suggestion for the Hornets’ fish-themed arena name: “The Grouperdome”
  • This Steve Nash video would have made more sense at the end of yesterday’s Raptors-Suns game thread, but I just found out about this now, so… yeah.