The Toronto Raptors (13-22) try to start another win streak against the Charlotte Bobcats (9-25) this evening at the Air Canada Centre. After coming off a convincing win against division rival and the 9th seeded Philadelphia 76ers; the Raptors will attempt to improve their position in the standings making a push for the final playoff spot. Last time these two teams met in Charlotte, the Bobcats were able to squeeze out a one-point victory. However this victory by the Bobcats was overshadowed by a controversial non-call on an Andrea Bargnani jumpshot that could’ve essentially won the game, or even tied it up if he were sent to the foul line.
TheCage’s 5 Key’s to the game
1. Set The Tone Early
The Raptors are facing a Bobcats team that aren’t used to winning, having lost 18 of their last 22 contests. If the Raps can take this young inexperienced Bobcats squad out of the game early, they can cruise to an easy victory at home.
2. Protect the Paint
With Ed Davis and Amir Johnson manning the middle for the Raptors interior defence will be essential. Kemba Walker is surrounded by slashing wings like Gerald Henderson and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
3. Contain Kemba Walker
Kemba is legitimately the only the heart and soul of the Bobcats. If Kyle Lowry and Jose Calderon are able to neutralize his production, the Raptors will have no problems with the rest of the team.
4. Share the ball
Calderon recorded 11 assists in their victory against the Sixers, therefore he must continue his steady production as a starter. The Raptors rank 11th in the NBA for team assists per game, so effiecent point guard play will be key for this game.
5. Attack! Attack! Attack!
Charlotte is thin in the front court. Although they are 6th in the league in blocks the talent from their big men is limited. The Raptors have a tendency to fall in love with the jumpshot, so they must get baskets in the paint to succeed.
Look out for Ed Davis as the Raptors Cage X-Factor of the game. His defensive instinct accompanied with his knack for getting to the rim will favor well in this matchup.
If the Raptors learned anything from their last matchup against the Bobcats, it was win the game early. Letting this game come down to the final shot is not acceptable. Expect the Raptors to come out running, with nothing but revenge on their mind.
Photo Cred: (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Frank Gunn)