Back at the Air Canada Centre, coming off a three game road trip, the Toronto Raptors will face off against the Sacramento Kings for their second and final meeting of the season.
The Raptors are feeling good heading into tonight’s matchup after defeating the Miami Heat 108-94, beating Chris Bosh for the first time since heartbreaking departure from Toronto. DeMar DeRozan poured in 30 points on 10-17 shooting from the field while Bismack Biyombo collected a game-high 15 rebounds.
Tonight, the Raptors take on the Kings looking to even up the season series after falling to them in early November, 101-107. After tonight the Raptors will square off against the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night to close out their short two game home-stand.
Cage’s Keys to the game:
Contain DeMarcus Cousins
Sounds simply but every team in the NBA struggles to do. Cousins is averaging 25 points and 11 rebounds this season and there’s been tons of trade rumours circling around the All-Star centre. These rumours will only fuel Cousins even more to be more dominant against a team he has bullied in the past. In their last meeting, Cousins put up a monstrous 36 points and 10 rebounds. The Raptors cannot let Cousins go one on one in the paint but will need to swarm him and get the ball out of his hands on offense.
This month, DeRozan has done everything the coaching staff could have asked from him. In his last six contests DeRozan is averaging 26.8 points on 50 percent a night. The efficiency part is eye opening for a player like DeRozan. Great defenders such as Kawhi Leonard, Khris Middleton and Luol Deng have struggled to contain DeRozan in those six games. The Raptors will need DeRozan’s amazing play to continue tonight if they look to come out with the win.
If Terrence Ross had a middle name it would sadly be inconsistent. In his last few outings Ross has shown otherwise scoring 10 or more points in his last three games. On Friday, Ross put up 17 points on 6-9 shooting and 5-8 from beyond the arc. Not sure if it’s safe to say that Ross isn’t in the lost and found for his shot anymore. In his last five game, Ross is shooting 43.3 percent from deep. Ross is a crucial piece in the Raptors rotation and naturally when he’s playing well, the rest of the team is too.
X-Factor: Kyle Lowry
Lowry has struggled shooting in the last few games and the Raptors in urgent need of his guidance. Lowry is shooting 33.7 percent from the field in his last five games and he knowns it himself that it’s not acceptable. Expect Lowry to come out in attack mode and attempt to get back into rhythm to aid the Raptors to their 18th win of the season.