Raptors v. Hornets Game Preview

Noora Popal
BarnBurner Sports Writer

@NooraPopal

Wednesday, January 8, 2020


TORONTO - The Raptors head over to Charlotte, after an undeniably tough loss to the Portland Trailblazers last night. This is their second of two back-to-back games. 

Both teams are coming off losses. Raptors lost to the Trailblazers, 101-99, and the Hornets are coming off a loss to the Indiana Pacers, 115-104. 

The Raptors have one of the best records in the East, despite the constant injuries and inconsistencies in their lineups. With the more experienced players out, Nick Nurse relies on the younger players to step up and take charge. 

The devastating game against Detroit, on December 20th, where the team lost Gasol, Powell, and Siakam has created some ups and downs for the team. And now with VanVleet out as well, the odds are stacked even higher against them.

The last time these two teams faced each other was on November 18th, and the Raptors blew the game out the water, 132-96. However, some key performers of that game are currently unable to play. The second half of that particular game was exceptional as the team scored 72 points, resulting in their win over Charlette. Siakam had 20 points 8, rebound and 5 assists, but he’s out now with a hamstring injury. Powell had 17 points and 6 assists, however, he has also missed a few games because of a shoulder injury. It is unknown whether either of them will be suiting up to play tonight. 

Terence Davis had 16 points 7 assists, during the first encounter with the Hornets this season. But with his poor performance last night as well as a few prior games, and the public criticism form Coach Nurse, it is questionable what he will bring to the table this game. 

When asked why Davis only played 8 minutes this game, Nick Nurse said, “He’s not playing very well…. It was probably five [minutes] too many”. This type of public criticism from Nick Nurse has been effective in the past, therefore we can expect some sort of response from Davis this evening.

Gasol is also still out. This means that once again the team will have to rely on their two veterans to guide them, Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka, who was 7-12 from the field against the Blazers.

Kyle Lowry had a solid performance last night against the Blazers, scoring 24 points and getting 10 rebounds. Kyle Lowry played nearly 40 minutes last night, and it is uncertain how that will impact him on this back-to-back game. 

Nick Nurse played Oshae, Boucher, McCaw, Thomas, and Johnson, all at the same time, and that seemed to be effective. Maybe he will try the same unconventional line up this game. 

The Hornets could take advantage of the fatigue the Raptors may feel from last night's game, not only physically but emotionally as well. However, knowing the Raptors and coach Nurse, they often pull through when odds are stacked against them. 

The game between the Toronto Raptors and Charlotte Hornets will take place at the Spectrum Center at 7 pm ET.