The Raptors look to win the season series against New York with a depleted Knicks team in town for the first half of a home-and-home.
Start time: 7:00 PM ET
Channel: Sportsnet One
Probable starting lineups
Toronto: Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, Landry Fields, Jonas Valanciuans (Fields has defended Anthony well this season)
New York: Raymond Felton, Pablo Prigioni, Carmelo Anthony, Iman Shumpert, Kenyon Martin
Toronto: Andrea Bargnani is out
New York: Tyson Chandler, Amar’e Stoudemire, Kurt Thomas, Rasheed Wallace and Baron Davis are all out
- The Raptors haven’t won the season series with the Knicks since the 2009-10 season (Bosh’s last year in Toronto), but if you listened to this week’s podcast, then you know I actually expect them to sweep this Friday-Saturday home-and-home (and subsequently sweep the four-game season series) after the predictable loss in Charlotte.
- Rudy Gay has actually been pretty efficient over his last few games and scored a season-high 32 points on nearly 48 per cent shooting the last time the Knicks were in town, so don’t be surprised if he continues his mini hot streak tonight. The question is will he do it while wearing goggles?
- That last win over the Knicks was as exciting a game and as loud a crowd as we’ve seen at the Air Canada Centre in the Post Bosh Era, but it’s also a little depressing top think back to it since the season has gone in the tank since. The Raptors won for the sixth time in seven games that night and moved within four games of a playoff spot with a Bucks loss the following night. That was the peak of the Raptors’ run however, and just four weeks later, they’re simply playing out the string until their officially eliminated from post-season contention (any combination of Raptors losses plus Bucks wins that equals six eliminates Toronto).
- The Knicks may be old and banged up, but Carmelo Anthony is back in the lineup and the team is playing for something tonight, as New York can clinch a playoff spot with a win. Having said that, if they don’t get it tonight, I don’t think they’ll be too worried about getting to their playoff clinching magic number of one over the next four weeks.
- RaptorBlog has been a little slow in terms of content this week, as I’ve been manning theScore’s March Madness blog on a full-time basis and Oliver has been away on vacation. I’m not sure how many Thoughts On the Game posts we’ll get to over the next few days, but in any event, feel free to leave your thoughts and observations from the game in the comment section below, as per usual. We’ll still be around for news posts, podcasts and the usual columns through the Madness though.