This photo represents five-eighths of the Raptors lineup tonight...seriously

A severely undermanned Raptors team will be in tough against the Nets in Toronto.

Start time: 7:00 PM ET
Channel: Sportsnet One

Probable starting lineups
Toronto: Jose Calderon, DeMar DeRozan, Mickael Pietrus, Ed Davis, Jonas Valanciunas
Brooklyn: Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace, Reggie Evans, Andray Blatche

Injury report
Toronto: Kyle Lowry, Andrea Bargnani and Linas Kleiza join Landry Fields and Alan Anderson in street clothes tonight, while Amir Johnson serves his one-game suspension for the now infamous mouth guard toss.
Brooklyn: Brook Lopez is out

Random Thoughts:

  • You know how we all keep asking if this is rock bottom yet? Well I think we’re about to find out what rock bottom really means. The Raptors only have eight players ready to play tonight as I write this, with Quincy Acy flying in from the D-League just to give the Raps a ninth body. This could get very ugly, very fast for a team that’s already teetering on the edge with a pitiful 4-18 record.
  • Speaking of the bench, Toronto’s second unit for this game will consist of John Lucas III, Terrence Ross, Aaron Gray and Quincy Acy.
  • I’m actually expecting a big game from Calderon tonight, who always seems to raise his level of play when he’s starting in place of an injured point guard ahead of him on the depth chart. I’ve mentioned it before, but it begs the question, how phony is his “I’ll do anything for the team” attitude? This season especially, he seems to bring a much lower effort level to games when he’s coming in off of the bench. Perhaps another strong multi-game offensive run as a starter will raise his trade value enough for the Raptors to move his sizable expiring contract.
  • Tonight’s game give us another chance to watch a young frontcourt of Davis and Valanciunas play together, and that excites me. It’s a shame that it’s come to this already just 23 games into what was supposed to be a season of improvement, but watching (hoping) the young core develop is all that’s left for me right now. With Bargnani and Amir out, Gray is the only big man option off of the bench, unless you count Quincy Acy.
  • Oliver and I have theScore’s annual holiday party tonight, so I doubt we’ll be able to get a “Thoughts On the Game” post up, but I’m sure we’ll have plenty to write about and discuss tomorrow. As usual, feel free to rant, react – and barring a miracle – probably cry about tonight’s game with fellow Raptors fans in the comment section below.