Kyle Lowry returns to Houston, as the Raptors look to end a four-game losing streak when they take on the new look Rockets.
Start time: 8:00 PM ET
Probable starting lineups
Toronto: Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Dominic McGuire, Andrea Bargnani, Jonas Valanciunas
Houston: Jeremy Lin, James Harden, Chandler Parsons, Patrick Patterson, Omer Asik
Toronto: Landry Fields and Alan Anderson are out
Houston: Former Raptor Carlos Delfino is out, while Cole Aldrich is questionable
- Kyle Lowry’s been saying all of the diplomatic things in terms of this being just another game, but come on, if you know what Lowry’s about as a competitor, there’s no reasonable way you can believe him when he says it. No, I assume that this is a pretty damn meaningful game for Kyle, and I expect him to come out firing. If there’s one thing that might be pointing to an upset tonight, it’s that Lowry should carry the Raptors on willpower alone.
- James Harden has come back to earth a bit since starting the season with an insane scoring outburst for the ages, but he’s still putting up an impressive 25 points, five assists and four rebounds per game while currently posting a career best PER of 21.4. Unfortunately for the Rockets, Jeremy Lin hasn’t exactly lived up to his three-year, $25 million contract so far, averaging just 10.2 points on less than 35 per cent shooting to go along with 6.1 assists, 4.6 rebounds and a below average PER of 11.72. If Lowry’s on his game as one of the best defensive point guards in the league, it could be a very long night for Lin.
- I wrote about Ed Davis’ struggle to establish himself in the Raptors crowded frontcourt earlier today, and right on cue, Dwane Casey says the improving big man will see more minutes.
- The Raptors have lost four straight, have lost 11 of 14 overall, and have just found new ways to tease us and then break our hearts time and time again through the first month of this season. I don’t know if I’m just significantly overrating Lowry’s determination in his return or if I’m just feeling unreasonably positive because I’m more than 48 hours removed from the last heartbreaking loss, but I’ve got a gut feeling that the Raptors steal a road game tonight. Screw it, I’m going to go ahead and predict a surprising Raptors win. After all, Oliver’s handling the “Thoughts On the Game” post tonight, so I won’t even have to explain myself when the Raptors inevitably prove me foolish.
- On a much more serious and somber note, assistant coach Kelvin Sampson has been serving as the Rockets head coach while Kevin McHale has been away dealing with his daughter’s illness and then tragically, her death at the age of 23. Condolences go out to the entire McHale family.