Toronto Raptors v New York Knicks

The Raptors look to extend their winning streak to four games as they invade Madison Square Garden to open their season series against the Atlantic Division rival Knicks.

Start time: 7:30 PM ET

Channel: Sportsnet

Probable starting lineups

Toronto: Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, Amir Johnson, Jonas Valanciunas

New York: Jason Kidd, Raymond Felton, Iman Shumpert, Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler

Injury report

Toronto: Linas Kleiza is out

New York: Marcus Camby, Rasheed Wallace and Baron Davis are out

Random Thoughts:

  • The Raptors actually split the season-series with the Knicks last year, which included an early season win at Madison Square Garden, and most of the matchups between these two teams produce some tight contests, so while New York should be the favourites tonight, I don’t expect a rout by any means.
  • Since Iman Shumpert’s return to the lineup, the Knicks have been playing some ridiculous small-ball that basically sees them start three point guards with Anthony and Chandler. Will we see the Raptors try to match up by playing Kyle Lowry and John Lucas III together for extended stretches, or will Dwane Casey stick with his regular rotation and try to force the Knicks to adjust?
  • A couple of matchups I’m really looking forward to watching are Gay vs. Anthony and Valanciunas vs. Chandler. Rudy and Carmelo are similar players, and the matchup may very well be decided by who decides to take the defensive challenge personally. As for JV, Tyson Chandler was one of the most oft-referenced comparisons for the young Lithuanian big man, and I’d like to see how Valanciunas goes about trying to score inside on one of the game’s premier interior defenders. For my money, Chandler is one of the most underrated players in the league, as you could make the argument he’s the best centre in the league right now (with Dwight Howard struggling and Andrew Bynum out) and the most important player for this Knicks team.
  • Andrea Bargnani looked awful last night while playing through the flu, but some of his best performances have come at MSG, including his career-high 41-point performance in 2010. Overall in his last eight games at Madison Square Garden, Bargnani is averaging 18 points on 46 per cent shooting, and that includes two games of two points and zero points.

Comments (11)

  1. No comments during the first half….no wonder…this fugly ball.

  2. Best win of the season, stood up to those fucking dirty, whiny pieces of shit, stood up to the refs who unjustifiably ejected our best player and gutted it out.

    Fuck the Knicks, I ride with Carefoot on this in that I still get the most pleasure out of beating them than any other team in the league.

    Also, Anderson and Lucas keep proving us wrong.

    • Seriously, “our best player.”
      I love Lowry as much as the next guy, but that’s a bit of a stretch….

      • *2ndbest* player now that gay is here. The refs were completely incompetent this game and raps caught a few breaks. i’ll take it though after they were fucked so many times this year. A win is a win. Also, AA and lucas still suck but for tonight they can be heroes. Gay and Melo were the dleaguers for tonite lol

      • This is not the night to nitpick little things like that, Sandcastle Kid.

  3. Milwaukee won tonight, so we’re still 6 games back. But I say keep pushing hard, win as many as possible. Going 20-9 the rest of the way with 16 against +.500 teams is improbable, but not impossible.

    At the very least let the pick we send OKC be worth as little as possible.

    • Just checked, Milwaukee has 17 games vs +.500 teams left out of 31 games total, so about the same % as us.

      A continued Raptors run and a late season choke by Milwaukee could be enough, who knows.

  4. Was I the only one who was pleasantly surprised when Casey took Primo out of the game so quickly after two consecutive defensive lapses in Q4?

    • HAHAHA…not at all. All of Raptors Nation was screaming ” Get that pylon out of there!!”

      And Bucks have Sessions wanting a divorce from the team. Hopefully that distracts them. We are in a harmonized sync of absolute power right now. No one cares who wins the game , as long as they win.

      Hopefully the break wont stall them.

  5. And then all of a sudden I realized, the Raptors are TOUGH!!! What happened? Where’s the layup line to the Toronto basket? Why all the hard fouls? What’s with the chirping after the whistle? Half the team stood up for JV after that elbow! They’re getting stops and making shots down the stretch in tight games against playoff teams! Is this a dream? How long will it last? Somebody pinch me and tell me again that Alan Anderson just went 6-8 from three, cause I don’t believe it. I will now shave my head and trim up a John Lucas III beard.

    A Bargnani trade must be so, so close. That guy has checked out. No way they leave him hanging around like a week-old scab for the rest of the season, right? Right?

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