/ Undifined / New Orleans Pelicans vs Toronto Raptors

New Orleans Pelicans vs Toronto Raptors

The place to Watch:

SN ONE at 7:30 p.m., EST

Starters:

Toronto - Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Norman Powell, Serge Ibaka, Jonas Valanciunas
New Orleans - Jrue Vacation, E’Twuan Moore, Dante Cunningham, Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins

Injuries:

Toronto - none
New Orleans - none
********

Outfitted
with only a 6-Four document, the Raptors are going Pelican searching. After an unnecessarily exhilarating win in opposition to the Chicago Bulls, the Raptors look to start out a streak in opposition to Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins and firm. Given these two groupsrisky pasts, we should always see an attention-grabbing matchup with no clear favorite.
In fact, the Raptors are favoured; the crew is usually acknowledged as a constant Jap Convention contender, whereas the Pelicans have been teetering the playoff qualifying line for a pair years now.
Nonetheless, my confidence within the Raptors is wavering. Kyle Lowry’s capturing struggles proceed to plague him (39.5 FG%, 32.2 3P%) as he will get used to the brand new offense, Valanciunas’ lack of consistency game-over-game continues to infuriate followers (over six video games, Jonas has didn't put up double-digit factors and rebounds 5 occasions), and extremely damaging lineups run rampant (the Ibaka/Valanciunas pairing’s defensive dearth price the Raptors a sport in opposition to the Washington Wizards earlier this season).
The Pelicans, at 6-5, are within the place to noticeably problem the Raptors. Coming off three wins in a row, they’re seeking to capitalize on their momentum. For coach Alvin Gentry, the final two seasons have been an uphill battle. With a roster carried by stars however weighed down by a scarcity of wing depth, Gentry has struggled to discover a lineup that constantly wins video games.
Whereas Cousins usually opts to hover across the perimeter (7.5 Three-point makes an attempt per sport), he isn’t averse to grabbing rebounds (13.6 RPG). Neither is Davis nonetheless (12.eight RPG), and the gamers have a tendency to enhance one another.
 
However, it isn’t all peaches and cream for the Pelicans (doesn’t that sound like a Dwane Casey-ism?). Their seek for a viable wing participant has gone chilly, and whereas in a hypothetical vacuum, it might seem as if Josh Smith might nonetheless play basketball, he’s averaging simply 4 minutes per sport on a crew the place Dante Cunningham is their beginning small ahead — yikes.
This season, E’twuan Moore is constantly taking part in 30+ minutes per sport, and contributing simply 9.9 factors, which is basically the identical PPG as he put up final 12 months in restricted minutes (24.9 MPG). Their lack of scoring choices spells bother for the Pels, as Davis and Cousins are each identified to be considerably damage inclined, and sure will be unable to chip in near 82 video games every. Sooner or later, they're going to want a roster change to help their stars, lest we see the fashionable Pelicans period crumble.
So, what do the Raptors must do to win this sport? Listed here are the small print.


Assault the Glass

The Raptors rank close to the underside of the league in rebounds per sport, which is bother, contemplating the frontcourt giants that the Pelicans have at their disposal. The Pelicans rank close to the highest of the league, which signifies that the Raptors will want Jonas Valanciunas to chip in, on the very least, an elusive double-digit rebounding sport.
Serge Ibaka additionally might want to up his rebounding sport, as he has been missing power thus far throughout this marketing campaign (5.Three RPG). I'd anticipate Jakob Poeltl to get extra minutes tonight, as his high-energy, no-fear angle usually allows him to feast on the glass — at the very least, when he’s given minutes.

Protection from the Large Males

Davis and Cousins can rating from each the surface and the within, every outfitted with a prowess within the publish, a relentless roll sport and a good outdoors shot. If the Raptors are going to play Valanciunas for heavy minutes, he would must be agile and thoroughly conscious, particularly on the defensive finish. In relation to Valanciunas, that is simpler stated than completed. Thus, I'd hope to see some youthful guys (e.g. Poeltl, Siakam, Nogueira) get some taking part in time on this sport.

Key Matchup

The Raptors are a guard-oriented crew — there’s no two methods about it. Whereas Davis and Cousins will probably have their method with our massive males, both as a consequence of a scarcity of expertise, quickness or in-game consciousness, Lowry should contribute a powerful effort in opposition to their gifted place to begin guard, Jrue Vacation.
If Jrue outscores Lowry by a substantial margin, the Raptors are in bother. Hopefully we see a resurgence in Lowry’s three-point shot tonight, in any other case, it’s feeding time for the Pelicans.

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