The Raptors host All-Star Kyrie Irving and the Cavs in a rare Saturday night home game at the ACC.

Start time: 7:00 PM ET
Channel: TSN

Probable starting lineups
Toronto: Jose Calderon, DeMar DeRozan, Landry Fields, Ed Davis, Amir Johnson
Cleveland: Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, Alonzo Gee, Tristan Thompson, Tyler Zeller

Injury report
Toronto: Andrea Bargnani and Jonas Valanciunas are out, while Linas Kleiza and Mickael Pietrus are, like I said last game, forever questionable
Cleveland: Anderson Varejao and Luke Harangody are out, while C.J. Miles is questionable

Random Thoughts:

  • The Raptors have already beaten the Cavs in Cleveland this season, the Cavs are 6-20 on the road and they’re on the second night of a back-to-back (they beat Milwaukee in Cleveland last night), so it’s no surprise that the Raps were favourite by 6.5 the last time I checked. But having said all of that, teams like Cleveland always worry me despite their record because they have a few guys who can get inexplicably hot on any given night. Kyrie Irving is a legitimate All-Star and has evolved into one of the league’s top-20 players already, Dion Waiters is inconsistent but can fill the bucket on one of those aforementioned hot nights, and even a guy like Gibson can turn the game around with his shooting. The Raptors should win this game and I expect them too, but if any of those three players start shooting the lights out, the Raps could be in trouble.
  • Keep an eye on Canadian big man Tristan Thompson tonight. I still think Cleveland made a big mistake drafting him No. 4 overall and I find he often looks a bit awkward on offence, but the guy has improved drastically just over the course of this season alone. He’s already better than what he was when the Raptors were in Cleveland in December, and I’m interested to see how he performs in front of his hometown crowd.
  • Not sure if you saw this last night, but CBS’ Ken Berger wrote that “Toronto is perhaps the most realistic landing spot for (Pau) Gasol” (Bargnani is suggested as going back the other way) and then later added that “league sources say the Raptors are far more amenable to trading Kyle Lowry” rather than Jose Calderon. This isn’t the first we’ve heard of these rumours, as the Bargnani/Gasol stuff was out there heavily a couple of months ago and Sam Smith wrote about the possibility of the Raptors trading Lowry earlier this season. Personally, while I still believe Gasol can be effective as a No. 1 post option again and while I maintain that he’s underused and under-appreciated in L.A., the play of Ed Davis, especially, has changed my mind about acquiring the veteran big man. In addition, trading Lowry and keeping Calderon would be a ridiculously short-sighted move by Toronto’s management team. While I want the Raptors to find value for Bargnani and Calderon in a trade, if there’s no good deals to be made or if the only decent deals out there would hurt the development of the Raptors’ younger players, I’d be happier to just let Calderon walk in the off-season and amnesty Bargnani at that time, though I seriously doubt MLSE would ever let amnestying a $10 million player fly.
  • I don’t think Oliver or I will be able to post our thoughts on tonight’s game later tonight, so feel free to leave your own comments, opinions and observations from the game (and on Berger’s report) in the comment section below.

Comments (19)

  1. The berger report better not be true in regards to lowry. Whats next for BC? Signing calderon to a 5 yr 90 M extension? Just incredibly dumb if its accruate. Not unexpected from BC tho. This is a guy who is great at overpaying mediocre talent. Anyways, I would have no problem trading gasol for bargnani and calderon. Gasol is still a much better player than davis and will make the team a little better so the pick okc gets would be worse presumably. Is gasol the best option to acquire? No, but its an ok move. Wing players are a more urgent need for this team however. Not just mediocre talents like fields and derozan but top shelf wing talent is needed.

  2. If they do trade kyle lowry then their wont be any hope of playoff spot jose calderon had his fucking chance why couldnt he do that te couple of years he was year huh this is kyle lowry first year with the raptors dont slip hes been injured back to back so obvously ur goin to have some off games he doesnt want injured something again i say lowry stay with an extension and calderon get a 2 year contract at least calderon is getting older lowry is still in his prime trust me hes the future when he has a break out season and is in all star u can remember me saying this

    • Jr I completely agree. They should trade Calderon and stick with Lowry. Having said that, you need to spell check your stuff. Half of it doesn’t make sense. Me fail English? That’s Umpossible… #Simpsons #Ralph

  3. Guys, Calderon is in his final year of his contract. Getting rid of Lowry is not an indication that Calderon’s contract will be extended, it’s simply an indication that Lowry is just not good enough to be the starting PG of this team, which I agree with personally. It also provides the Raptors with flexibility going into the futrue and makes them an improved team if Gasol does join. Personally, I’m all for it.

    Again, this has nothing to do with Calderon (vs Lowry), which everyone seemingly goes back to everytime we talk about the PG situation. Lowry has simply been way too inconsistent to be depended on for the post-Jose era.

    • How can you think Kyle Lowry isn’t good enough to be starting for this team. Starting didn’t he average about 20 and 7 and play tenacious defense? He may not be the most traditional point guard but he was by far our best player and is also probably our best pure scorer. To say a guy who can average 20 and 7 starting isn’t good enough is fucking ridiculous, not to mention the guy probably would have been an all-star last year had he not gotten injured. Also, it isn’t like he got more than 5 games to show what he could do, so the teams record is totally irrelevant with him starting. I think the ONLY negative to Kyle Lowry is he tends to get hurt and that there are times he forces his shot. However, considering he may be our best scorer I do not mind him forcing his shot.

      • …sure Lowry averaged about 20 and 7 as a starter, but what did the rest of the starting 5 do except watch him go 1-on-5? With Calderon starting, the rest of this young team is beginning to show what they are capable of, and they will continue to develop. You can see that Lowry has attempted to get the other players more involved since he returned from his injuries, but it is not natural to him, and he has nowhere near the Bball IQ in terms of running an offence that Calderon does… that’s why he’s not the starter in spite of the fact that there have been numerous attempts to force-feed him into that role. Calderon is the most underated player in the NBA.

  4. What a weird stretch, a Thursday night game followed by a Saturday night home game.

    Isn’t it fun to see a team that is ACTUALLY rebuilding and not just saying they are because their executive has no other explanations for how badly every major move he’s made has backfired? What the Cavs are doing is what rebuilding looks like, they’ve traded for 6 first round picks since the summer of LeBron and are shaping up to be the Thunder of the East in a couple of years if they can continue on this path.

    Those rumours are just too depressing to address. As the great TurboZone jokingly says, “Why do we resist? Colangelo, Bargnani and Calderon are here forever.”. I can’t think of another team that has blindly stuck with two players as limited as Bargnani and Calderon for the better part of a decade through such a poor stretch. What makes their current presence on the team even more shocking is how many times Colangelo has purged over half the roster and yet those two are still here.

  5. Calderon is much more valuable than Lowry IMO

  6. What ever moves they make – keep in mind we are only 4 games out of a play-off spot with pretty much a half season left., so the moves should be to improve to fight for that spot I agree with Tony Starks that if Lowry is traded doesn’t mean he is better, it means the team isn’t confident in him – I would like to see the Raptors make a run at Jennings this summer and he can play with his pal Demar!….I’m in for moving on over Lowry at this point and Calderon for sure.

  7. Lowry has the defence the Raptors need going forward. Trade Calderon and Bargnani for players who are geared towards Caseys defensive philosophy.

    • I keep reading that Lowry is so superior defensively, and then I watch and see that the only thing he excels at defensively is pressuring the ball at the top… the blow-by’s are just as frequent with him out there, and he frequently puts himself out of position gambling on steals. Without Bargnani and his completeunwillingness/inability to play help defence on the floor, Calderon is not nearly as exposed as he used to be-he has actually been doing a good job within Casey’s system of playing his man into the help.

  8. Haven’t we gone through this in the past? Oh wait, we have.. TJ Ford, I still believe we could have traded Calderon at that point when his value was at an all time high, J.Jack, and Bayless. Trading Lowry now will only worsen the overall value of this team and their short sightedness in building a legitimate team year in year out. Yes, I will admit, Calderon has probably played better than Lowry this year as our PG, but! he’s in a contract year and is pretty much showcasing himself to the legitimate title contenders that he can effectively ‘take over’ (I use that loosely) games, as well as play semi-legit D. Regardless, if K-Low is traded, I will lose my shit and join the FireBC bandwagon.

    #rapnation

  9. Why don’t we package lowery and bargs for a pg because it has become obvious that lowery struggles to run an offense

  10. We Could trade for a lottery pick and draft a pg we can develope like Michael carter Williams or trey Burke

  11. Not that it would ever, ever, EVER happen, but 2K13 did accept my trade of Lowry, Fields and a pick for Kyrie. Jus felt like throwin that out there.

  12. man the raptors gotta stop wearing these camo jerseys. remembrance day or st patricks day maybe but any other day they just dont look right

  13. After watching kyrie light us up I beleive the raptors r better suited to draft a guy to run the point for next season. The raptors should package guys like bargs jose and lowery for a surefire lottery pick to land CJ McCollum out of Lehigh. We’ve seen guys like Kyrie, Kemba, Lillard, and Holiday show how effective a young explosive pg can be in this league. For those of you who don’t know McCollum I leave you with this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omY6v5jJIjw

  14. That was horrible.

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