Andrew Wiggins will play at home for the first time tonight. The rookie phenom and Canada basketball poster child makes his way to the north as the Minnesota Timberwolves will take on the Toronto Raptors in what should be a sold out game with an electric atmosphere.
The Raptors, on the other hand are searching for a winning streak and some consistency. With 15 games to go, the Raptors are at 40 wins. To break that 50 win barrier, they will definitely have to get back to their old ways. So yeah. Consistency, playoff momentum, and winning are things that Dwane Casey has to be preaching.
An interesting development is that former coach Sam Mitchell will man the bench tonight for the Wolves as head coach Flip Saunders has family matters to deal with.
The Wolves are the worst team in the league aside from the New York Knicks record-wise, so a loss here would actually be very demoralizing. Here are the Cage’s Keys to the Game which would ensure that doesn’t happen.
I would like to see this one turn into a ‘fun’ game where maybe Bruno gets some burn, as opposed to a close one where the Raps are forced to play Kyle Lowry down the stretch. Come out with the mentality that you want to put the game to bed by half-time, and it should happen. This team really needs the confidence.
You know that this guy is going to want to put on a show. All his boys from T-Dot and family members will probably be sitting somewhere in the lower bowl watching him, so he’s going to want to have a career game. While I would love to see Wiggins play well, limiting him would essentially take away any chance the Wolves have. Stick James Johnson on him because he will definitely be a handful for Terrence Ross and DeMar DeRozan if he gets going.
The T’Wolves are the worst defensive team in the league, so scoring should come quite easily for the Raps. However, focusing on regaining that defensive intensity that we have seen in the past should be the priority from here on out, because that is a recipe for winning playoff basketball. Once the effort is there, the rest will take care of itself.
X-Factor – DeMar DeRozan
It will be interesting to see if Casey challenges DeRozan to guard Wiggins. DD is a capable defender, however at times he just doesn’t engage enough on that end of the court. When he’s not playing well defensively it also seems to affect his offensive performance.