Start time: 7:00 PM ET
Channel: Sportsnet One
Probable starting lineups
Toronto: Jose Calderon, DeMar DeRozan, DeMar DeRozan, James Johnson, Amir Johnson
Atlanta: Jeff Teague, Joe Johnson, Marvin Williams, Josh Smith, Zaza Pachulia
Toronto: Leandro Barbosa will be a gametime decision, while Andrea Bargnani is expected to be out until at least early February.
Atlanta: Al Horford will likely be out until April.
It’s a real crapshoot guessing who will start in the Raptors’ frontcourt these days, but they beat the Nets with this lineup on Sunday and the Hawks are somewhat undersized up front so it makes sense that Dwane Casey would roll with this group again.
The Hawks haven’t missed a beat since losing Al Horford on January 11, winning eight of their last 10 games as they’re currently tied for third in the Eastern Conference. If they win in Toronto tonight, it will be the first time they’ve won four games in a five-game road trip in over 40 years. Yeah, that’s kind of a random stat, but I thought it was worth mentioning.
These teams met two weeks ago when the Hawks won 93-84, but that was with DeMar DeRozan shooting 5-for-17 so they’ll have a better chance if he can continue the momentum from his season-best 27-point output on Sunday. DeRozan’s 16 free throw attempts were what impressed me most about that performance, so let’s hope he carries over that aggressiveness into tonight’s game. It would also be helpful if the Toronto can do a better job of containing Joe Johnson than they have recently — he’s averaged 30 points in his last three games against the Raptors.
- What are your thoughts on trying to trade Jose Calderon for any expiring contract before the trading deadline? I’m mostly in favor of it, although I’m somewhat intrigued by the idea of Jose running the pick-and-roll with Jonas Valanciunas next season.
- Let’s serve up some more Mitchell and Webb for tonight’s pregame laughfest. Watch the football!