Start time: 7:00 PM ET
Channel: Sportsnet One
Probable starting lineups
Toronto: Ben Uzoh, DeMar DeRozan, Alan Anderson, Amir Johnson, Aaron Gray
Atlanta: Jeff Teague, Kirk Hinrich, Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, Jason Collins
Toronto: Jose Calderon will be a game-time decision, while Andrea Bargnani and Jerryd Bayless are out for the season.
Atlanta: Zaza Pachulia will miss this game with a foot injury, while Al Horford won’t play until the post-season.
The deflating inflatable roller-blading Raptor (the story of which you can read about here) symbolizes the Raptors’ spectacular failure to tank away the rest of their season. With back-to-back upsets over the Celtics and Hawks, the Raptors are now tied with the Nets for sixth-worst in the league. The Hawks have an opportunity to tie the Celtics for fourth place in the East with a win tonight, so hopefully they’ll be more motivated than they appeared to be last night.
You’ll notice that I’ve projected Ben Uzoh and Alan Anderson to remain in the starting lineup tonight. That’s because the Raptors signed them for the rest of the season today while Justin Dentmon was let go. This shouldn’t be a surprise, as Anderson and Uzoh have been key reasons for the team’s late-season surge.
If Dwane Casey really wanted to send this team into a proper tailspin, he could do something outrageous like start Solomon Alabi and give him 20-plus minutes. With his competitive nature, I don’t think we should hold our collective breath on that happening. And if the Raptors can beat the Hawks by 16 in Atlanta, they could certainly win again tonight at the Air Canada Centre. Maybe we should learn to embrace the late-season wins and hope that we’re karmically rewarded in the draft lottery.
I don’t know about you guys, but I think this Dwight Howard drama is starting to get ridiculous.