The Raptors look to earn a measly 11th road win for the first time in three years as they begin a three-game road trip in Minnesota.
Start time: 8:00 PM ET
Probable starting lineups
Toronto: Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, Amir Johnson, Jonas Valanciunas
Minnesota: Ricky Rubio, Luke Ridnour, Andrei Kirilenko, Derrick Williams, Nikola Pekovic
Toronto: Andrea Bargnani is out
Minnesota: Kevin Love, Brandon Roy and Malcolm Lee are out
- With the lockout-shortened campaign in 2011-12, the Raptors finished stuck on 10 road wins a year after going a pitiful 6-35 on the road in 2010-11. They’ll have four more chances this season, beginning tonight, to grab that elusive 11th road win for the first time in three years. Tonight also marks Toronto’s first trip to Minnesota since January 29, 2011.
- Rick Adelman is going for his 1000th career win tonight. It’s a shame the Timberwolves have been so injury plagued again this season, as Adelman is a great coach and I would have liked to see what he could have done with an intriguing roster in Minnesota.
- Terrence Ross seems to have hit another rookie wall and Minneapolis just happens to be home for Alan Anderson, so you have to wonder whether Anderson will get some more burn than usual tonight.
- Here’s another solid writeup on the defensive excellence of the Raptors’ current starting lineup. I particularly like the fact that this lineup is among the league leaders in forcing turnovers, because as I had mentioned in my own piece on the five-man unit, those turnovers will allow the excellent defence to translate into at least an average offence.
- Speaking of stats, here’s a great one…
Per Elias, over last 42 seasons Jonas Valanciunas & Hall of Famer David Robinson are only rookie centres to make 16 FTs in a game.
— RaptorsMR (@RaptorsMR) April 5, 2013
- If you remain interested in the bottom of the standings for draft consideration purposes, the Raptors enter tonight with the league’s eighth-worst record, but they’re also only a half-game behind the Timberwolves, who have the 10th-worst record. In other words, even just another win or two should keep the Raptors in the 8-10 range. On one hand, it will be sad to see a top-10 pick go. On the other hand, it will be relieving to see a pick in the 8-10 range in a weak draft go as opposed to heading into next season with the prospects of a forfeited pick still looming over the franchise.