Bobcats-Raptors game-day Dino-bytes
As usual, our post-shootaround look at tonight’s Raptors game.
CHARLOTTE (9-25) at TORONTO (13-22)
Air Canada Centre
TIPOFF: 7 p.m.
TV: TSN; RADIO: FAN590
WEB: Yes, the usual fun and frivolity of an in-game blog shall commence just before 7 p.m.
Charlotte: Kemba Walker, Jeffery Taylor, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Tyrus Thomas, Bismack Biyombo; Toronto: Jose Calderon, DeMar DeRozan, Landry Fields, Ed Davis, Amir Johnson.
Key backups tonight
Charlotte: Gerald Henderson (he’s getting some better shooting range), Ramon Sessions (key to the team’s second unit); Toronto: Kyle Lowry (had just a so-so game against Philadelphia), Mickael Pietrus (he needs to give them more off the bench).
Bobcats lead, 1-0.
Who can forget that night down in Charlotte when the Raptors came back from down 10 in the fourth quarter only to see Charlotte get a late bucket to win. Oh yeah, Raptors had about four shots of their own to win and Andrea Bargnani was so egregiously fouled on the final attempt the league had to come out the next day and admit the refs blew the call.
Toronto leads the all-time series 15-14 and is 8-6 against Charlotte at home.
Speaking of refs
Tonight’s whistle-blowers are Violet Palmer (she was on that crew for the game in Charlotte), Kevin Fehr and – ta-da!!! – David Jones.
Perchance you remember Jones? He was the official that Amir Johnson tossed his mouthguard at out in Portland last month. This is the first Toronto game he’s worked since.
Asked Amir this morning if he’d speak to him.
Esoteric stat, No. 1
The Raptors have led wire-to-wire in each of their last two wins.
Terrence Ross practiced Thursday and took part in shootaround on Friday.
The uber-cautious Raptors suggest he’ll be a game-time decision. If it’s no, we’ll be stunned.
Oh, and there’s not much chance Linas Kleiza goes, either. React however you wish to that one.
A budding star
We had a quick conversation with Jonas Valanciunas about his star turn in The Other Dream Team documentary and, of course, we asked about future thespian plans.
What’s up in Charlotte?
Let’s see what Mr. Bonnell scribbled about this morning, shall we?
Esoteric stat, No. 2
Toronto has a plus-42 overall fourth-quarter scoring differential over their opponents in the last five games.
Who to watch?
Toronto needs to pay particular attention to Bobcats point guard Kemba Walker.
The second-year guard averages 17.8 points per game and ranks eighth in the NBA in steals.
Raptors did good jobs limiting Russell Westbrook and Jrue Holiday in their last two games, hitting a trifecta would be a good thing.