With the playoff race in the rear-view mirror, the Raptors look to simply get back on track against a Warriors team slipping in the Western Conference standings.
Start time: 10:30 PM ET
Channel: Sportsnet One
Probable starting lineups
Toronto: Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, Andrea Bargnani, Jonas Valanciunas
Golden State: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes, David Lee, Andrew Bogut
Toronto: Linas Kleiza is still out
Golden State: Brandon Rush is out for the season
- I mentioned the Warriors’ slippage above. Not too long ago, the Warriors were arguably the most positive surprise of the season as they closed in on a potential top-four seed in the Western Conference. Now Golden State is riding a four-game losing streak, have lost 10 of their last 13, are only six games over .500 and are only three games clear of the ninth-place Lakers. To make matters worse, their last loss on Saturday night in Philly handed the Sixers their first win in eight games.
- Overall, the Warriors have been incredibly streaky over the last couple of months, as since January 13, Golden State has lost three, won three, lost two, won four, lost six, won three and now lost four. For what it’s worth though, the Warriors snapped that six-game losing streak and started the three-game winning streak in Toronto, so you know they’re looking at the Raptors again as the beatable team to beat to get themselves out of a funk. And just like that night at the ACC, Andrew Bogut will be making a return to the lineup tonight.
- While my disdain for the minutes Andrea Bargnani is being handed without merit is well documented, I will admit that I was genuinely interested to see what the Raptors’ offence looked like with Rudy Gay and Bargnani both in the starting lineup for the first time (Yes, I’m aware that it has the possibility to be quite stagnant and generally UGLY), so I’m not going to pretend that I’m disappointed he’s good to go after being a gametime decision earlier today with a reaction to a medication. Having said that, I’d also appreciate if players who earn minutes get them, so if Amir and JV are the better bigs throughout the game, I hope they’re the two that finish the game.
- With Bargnani and Valanciunas reunited in the starting lineup, the Raptors will trot out the lineup they started on opening night, with the one exception being Rudy Gay replaces Landry Fields. Overall, it’s the 20th different starting combination used by Toronto this season. Whether it’s by more talent or just better health, here’s hoping next season’s starting unit is more consistent.