Start time: 6:00 PM ET
Probable starting lineups
Toronto: Jose Calderon, DeMar DeRozan, James Johnson, Who Knows, Aaron Gray
New Jersey: Deron Williams, Anthony Morrow, DeShawn Stevenson, Kris Humphries, Shelden Williams
Toronto: Andrea Bargnani is expected to be out until at least early February.
New Jersey: Brook Lopez, Mehmet Okur and Damion James are out, MarShon Brooks is questionable.
Man, those are a pair of pitiful starting lineups. The Nets actually managed a three-point victory over the Cavs with that lineup on Friday. On the other side, the Raptors are 6-7 this season when Bargnani is in the lineup and 0-7 when he’s not. Against the Nuggets on Friday, Linas Kleiza played the role of “Who Knows” and that led to the Raptors trailing 28-12 after one quarter. Maybe Amir Johnson or Ed Davis will start in his place today. Maybe not. Who knows? Not I.
We tend to associate solid team defense with the head coach, and yet Avery Johnson coached a top-five defensive team in the 2006-07 Dallas Mavericks before coaching this year’s Nets, who are dead last in Defensive Rating at the moment. I suppose you can call that the Brook Lopez Effect, although he’s never really been considered to be a defensive stalwart. Regardless, he’s clearly the best of a bad lot on that end of the court with this team.
- I hadn’t noticed this until Matt Devlin tweeted it, but the Raptors have been called for 499 personal fouls while their opponents have 364 personal fouls. That’s a disparity of 6.75 fouls per game, which is freaky. In fact, the Raptors lead the NBA in fouls by a wide margin — the Knicks are a distant second with 450. I feel like this merits its own post, which Joseph Casciaro will probably write.
- Would you believe that I hadn’t actually heard the song “Party Rock Anthem” by LMFAO before this weekend? Hey, I never listen to the radio. Anyway, I can’t set up this video any better than the YouTube uploader does: “Ain’t no party like a Pyongyang party, ’cause a Pyongyang party is ABSOLUTELY MANDATORY.”