The Raptors return from a brief Holiday break looking for a sixth straight win. Unfortunately, they’re looking for it in San Antonio…

Start time: 8:30 PM ET
Channel: Sportsnet One

Probable starting lineups
Toronto: Jose Calderon, DeMar DeRozan, Mickael Pietrus, Ed Davis, Amir Johnson (Might we see Aaron Gray get the start so that Amir can continue to be a nice punch off of the bench?)
San Antonio: Tony Parker, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Tim Duncan, Tiago Splitter

Injury report
Toronto: Kyle Lowry, Jonas Valanciunas and Andrea Bargnani are all out
San Antonio: Gary Neal is out

Random Thoughts:

  • With the news that Kyle Lowry will be held out tonight so that he can get another practice in before he returns, the Raptors will be missing three players from their opening night starting lineup. With Landry FieldsĀ  yet to play a single minute since returning from injury, only DeMar DeRozan is left from the original starting five.
  • In a way, Lowry missing this game might be slightly beneficial for his rep among some Raptors fans. Toronto’s obviously not expected to win tonight, but if Lowry returned in what should go down as the Raptors’ first loss in two weeks, you know there would still be people out there who actually pinned the loss on a lack of chemistry or something Kyle “caused.” If things go according to script and the Raptors fall in San Antonio, at least Lowry won’t have the cloud of “you better not screw this up” in the middle of a win streak hanging over his head when he returns.
  • Speaking of Lowry, did you see the latest rumour to emerge on Christmas Eve? Bulls writer Sam Smith, who was the first one to write about the Raptors being a free agency possibility for Steve Nash way back in May, wrote thatthe Raptors supposedly would like to put Kyle Lowry in a trade package and keep Jose Calderon.” Smith doesn’t expand on the details at all, but I figured it was obviously worth a share with any Raptors fans that hadn’t seen it yet. I’m sure we’ll get to dissecting the rumour if it spreads.
  • With Bargnani and now Valanciunas both out, the Raptors are clearly undermanned with their bigs. Ed and Amir will have to shoulder a heavy dose of minutes, and Aaron Gray will have to be relied upon to hold the fort and set the tone for more minutes than he’s been used to so far this season. But what I’m really interested in seeing is whether Quincy Acy gets some non-garbage time minutes at the four.
  • The Raptors and Spurs played an incredibly close double-overtime thriller earlier this season in Toronto, but the Raps got a combined 42 points from Lowry and Valanciunas in that game, so they’re going to be in tough to replicate the competition they gave the Spurs, especially in San Antonio. Remember that Davis had 15 points and 14 rebounds in only 22 minutes that day though, so perhaps he can thrive in starter’s minutes against this Spurs team.
  • Given that it’s been five days since the last Raptors game and the fact that they’re riding a five-game winning streak, I’m sure most of you are genuinely excited for this game, but I hope no one is thinking too crazy. The Spurs are 10-2 at home, they’ve outscored opponents by 146 points over 12 games at home this season (an average margin of 12.2), they drilled Dallas by 38 in their last game on Sunday and the Raptors are 2-14 on the road with an average margin of defeat of 9.9 points. At 9-19, there’s no time for moral victories, and I would never want the players on the team thinking “let’s just keep this close,” but I still think most fans would take some solace in the Raptors keeping it competitive tonight.
  • We’ve been on a bit of a Holiday hiatus ourselves here at RaptorBlog and we’ll be generally lighter than usual until the new year, but we’ll still have games covered with threads and post-game thoughts and we’ll be here to react in the event any Raptors-related news breaks between now and then. Enjoy the game.

Comments (9)

  1. Didn’t know about the Lowry rumour yet. IMO though, it isn’t really surprising, I don’t think Lowry wants to be coming off the bench.

    If at the trade deadline the Raptors are well out of the playoff picture, I don’t see why they can’t trade both him and Calderon.

    • no if they trade lowry there going to re sign calderon…i seen this coming we clearly play better with a pass first point guard than we do with a shoot first point guard, calderon is a top 5 passing point guard and a top 5 pick and roll point guard, if hes getting all his dimes from guys like davis, amir jv demar could you imagine what he would do with a couple of all stars..not to mention the guy doesnt turn the ball over, the last 3 years hes been in the top 5 for assist to turn over ratio in the nba. i would be glad to see him as a raptor for the next 3 years..

      • Like I said, I think it depends where the team is in the standings to decide what they should do. But the thing is, it probably comes down to whether or not Jose wants to resign.

        If he doesn’t resign by the trade deadline, I think it would be a clear indication that he still wants to be traded. In that case, it’s best that the Raptors do trade him to at least get something for him.

    • I personally still think Lowry has value to this team. If we trade him, odds are we will have to sell low. However, he only has (I think) two years left on his pretty small contract, so I’d rather let him have another season (hopefully a healthy one) and see if he can mesh with the rest of the guys. I still believe Bargnani is the biggest reason the team looked so bad before, and I think Lowry can adjust his game. He’s been sitting on the bench and watching, and I think he can adapt to fit what the team needs.

  2. I think trading lowry instead of calderon would be asinine and be a typical BC moronic move. I Hope smith is wrong. Its way too premature to hate on lowry. I think he is clearly the best player on the team by a fair margin from what i see when he plays. I dont that care calderon was the starting pg the last five games when they have played awful teams. Lowry is a better player than calderon and should be kept. Period.

  3. Assist to turnover stat is bogus. Ur right steve o about him if he played with a couple all stars things would be different. It seems like when his job is in jeoprdy he plays to his best ability. But ultimately, I just don’t see him as our future point guard. I think nows the best time to trade him while his stock is rising.

  4. Are people seriously discussing the possibility of trading Lowry this early into his Raptors career? He’s one of the most talented players on this team and one of the rare players that can create (and finish) his own shot. The whole two point guard thing is not ideal but it wouldn’t make any sense to trade away Lowry unless we’re getting something really good in return. Let’s not forget that Lowry is making just $5.75M, given the production he’s provided he’s a steal at that price. Anyone that’s seen my recent posts on here knows how much I value Calderon but even I would not dare suggest getting rid of Lowry!

    • If the Raptors are way out of the playoff picture at trade deadline, there is really no reason to keep him if there are good offers for him. Plus, he may want to be traded if he becomes a backup, which I could definitely see happening.

      If the Raptors are going to rebuild this offseason, which they should, then it’s a good idea to get rid of him while his value is high, especially if if you can get a decent first round pick back.

  5. Surely Colangelo isn’t actually considering getting rid of Lowry and extending Jose? He wouldn’t ? Would he ?
    Okay , MLSE , please fire this clown before these absurd allegations become realities.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *