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February 17 - Charlotte Bobcats

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  • February 17 - Charlotte Bobcats

    ESPN Preview:

    Precious little has gone right for the Toronto Raptors at home.

    For the Charlotte Bobcats, the positives have been fewer and further between regardless of venue as they head into Friday night's game at Air Canada Centre trying to snap a franchise-record 16-game losing streak.

    Charlotte (3-26) is winless since beating Golden State 112-100 on Jan. 14, and its 10 road losses during the skid have come by an average of 16.2 points. The most recent defeat there came Wednesday night, a 102-90 loss to Minnesota in which the Bobcats allowed 54 points in the paint while the Timberwolves shot 50.6 percent.

    "Some nights it's embarrassing, especially when we lose by a lot," rookie Kemba Walker said. "No one likes to lose by that many points."

    Walker, the ninth overall pick, is third on the team with 13.1 points per game. D.J. Augustin -- averaging 13.4 points -- had nine off the bench in his first action after missing 11 games with an inflamed big toe. The Bobcats, however, are still without injured swingman Gerald Henderson, who leads the team with 15.0 points per game.

    A loss would make the Bobcats the 28th team in NBA history to drop at least 17 straight games, though they are still quite a distance from Cleveland's league-record 26-game skid from last season.

    "Everybody wants to make history but you don't want to make history that way," guard Matt Carroll said. "You don't want to be that team."

    The Raptors, though, may be that team the Bobcats want to play. Charlotte won all four meetings last season, with Augustin averaging 18.5 points and 6.3 assists while committing just three turnovers.

    Toronto (9-22) is 1-4 on its current seven-game homestand and 4-10 there overall, having dropped the last three. Having been overwhelmed by Linsanity in losing on a last-second 3-pointer Tuesday by the New York Knicks guard, the Raptors had no answer for another star point guard the following night when Tony Parker had 34 points and 14 assists in Toronto's 113-106 loss.

    One of the problems for the Raptors has been finding healthy quality players. Leading scorer Andrea Bargnani -- averaging 23.5 points -- likely will miss his 19th game in the last 21 with a strained left calf, while Jerryd Bayless (ankle) and Linas Kleiza (knee) -- both scoring in double figures at 11.3 and 10.7 points per game, respectively -- are questionable for this game.

    There were positives in Wednesday's loss, however. DeMar DeRozan scored a season-high 29 points, and Toronto's shortened bench contributed 45 as Rasual Butler, Ed Davis and Anthony Carter all reached double figures.

    "Our bench did a great job," coach Dwane Casey said. "Everyone that came in competed and played hard. Now, we have to find a closing group to close the game. And it goes back to being healthy."

    Despite the spate of injuries, Toronto's offense has functioned well, shooting at least 47.4 percent during the three-game skid. The Raptors, though, have been outscored 55-30 at the foul line in that span.

    Toronto should squash them tonight, but here are some reasons why I doubt it:

    1) this will probably be the most likely game to ensure the Bobcats don't reach 20 losses in a row,
    2) teams on slides have loved Toronto this year (Washington 0-9 get a win, Sacramento winless on road gets a win,
    3) Toronto has, overall, played to the level of their competition this year,
    4) LotteryBall has a job to do.

    I do hope Toronto wins, and wins big tonight. Part of the culture change is beating the teams you should beat. I know Toronto are bad but Charlotte are worse.... even without Bargnani, Bayless, and Kleiza.

    Do you think Kemba will have something to prove tonight?

  • #2
    RaptorsPR @RaptorsPR
    #raptors Jerryd Bayless will be active and dress for tonight's game. Linas Kleiza moves to inactive list.
    No Kleiza.

    Bayless active.


    • #3
      bayless should be a good defensive matchup on Kemba and DJ Augustine


      • #4
        Jose, DeMar, JJ, Amir, Gray are the starters.


        • #5
          thats good. I really get worried when we go small with JB at the 2


          • #6
            This is hard to watch so far... 10-6 with 4 mins left in the 1st
            The Double Champ is here!
            Dynasty King: RRNBADLS7
            Raptors: Larry O'Brien


            • #7
              Demar rolling along: 12 pts 5-6 2-2ft.. and he's at the line again with 30 seconds left in the first. Sad part is his defensive match-up Reggie Williams has 11pts.


              • #8
                Going to laugh pretty hard if the raps lose this


                • #9
                  Remember when I predicted Charlotte would steal a 7th or 8th seed? I say funny stuff.


                  • #10
                    lol the raps lost! how is that even possible? Caseys late game schemes really make me question his coaching ability going forward.


                    • #11
                      Yeah.. bad time for Calderon to make that shot


                      • #12
                        I still think we should've tried to get a second first rounder for Kemba last year


                        • #13
                          ceez wrote: View Post
                          Going to laugh pretty hard if the raps lose this
                          You laughing?

                          The Raptors are streak killers!


                          • #14
                            The Bobcats are who we thought they are.....ooops.

                            After all the tough teams this is a setback. And it happened at home.


                            • #15
                              Tank is in motion.

                              Toronto loses to Charlotte.
                              NO is up 10 on NY.
                              Detroit is up 2 on Sacramento with less than 20 seconds left.

                              The Raps may end up in sole position of 5th worst, with only 1 game back from 2nd worst. Charlotte may get some of its confidence back and start winning more games. Brook Lopez is coming back on Saturday for NJ. Not a bad day for tankers.