Game #42 Preview: Spurs vs Raptors

I was invited to do my first game preview for PTR, but apparently I couldn't hack it.

Find out more about how this contest between the Spurs and Raptors should play out ... after the jump!

Last game the Spurs took on Denver, now they get the Dinosaurs. But not Denver the Last Dinosaur.

(You may remember that cartoon...then again you may not. OK, enough of the "DTOUR!")

I feel bad for the Raptors. I really do. Not only have they had to deal with most of their top players over the years (Damon Stoudamire, Tracy McGrady, Vince Carter, Chris Bosh) leaving town relatively early in their careers, but this season the only breaks they've gotten seem to be the ones that send them to the doctor.
Reggie Evans has been out of action since November. He had been gobbling up rebounds at a rate of 12.1 per game in only 27.3 mpg, but he only lasted for 15 games. Now the Raps look to guys like Amir Johnson, Andrea Bargnani and Joey Dorsey to fill that void.

The injuries certainly do not stop with Evans. Leandro Barbosa recently went down and is expected to be out for 1-2 weeks. Peja can't get on the court, Sonny Weems has been injured and Linas Kleiza may still be out after missing the team's last game. Ditto for Jerryd Bayless, who has missed the last two games. Add it all up, and it may mean big minutes for the likes of Sundiata Gaines (!), he of the game-winning buzzer beater from a year ago.
While they employ a seven-footer who scores nearly two more ppg than any Spurs player, a poing guard who does a poor man's Nash impersonation with his shooting accuracy and assists numbers, plus an explosive wing player in DeMar DeRozan, the Raptors will be fighting an uphill battle for most of the night.

And while there is always a possibility for a shorthanded Raptors squad to knock off the Spurs as they did two years ago (even with Manu going off), it doesn't appear likely this time around. The Spurs are on quite a roll, and have only lost one game to sub-.500 teams (against the Clippers in a SEGABABA). Plus, Roko Ukic isn't on the Raps anymore.

Stats, broadcast info and more are found below. Note the momentarily FREE League Pass option.

Music provided by Toronto-based hip-hip artist/actor Maestro, with samples from The Guess Who.

via UnidiscMusic

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San Antonio Spurs vs Toronto Raptors
Where: AT&T Center

When: January 19, 7:30 p.m. Spurs Time - Timezone Converter
Watch: Fox Sports Southwest
Bonus: My spies say there is a brief FREE League Pass that will include this game


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By the Numbers

Data sources:
hoopdata.com | basketball-reference.com | John Hollinger's team stats

Category Offense
(rank)
Defense
(rank)
Efficiency Rating 109.6
(1st)
100.3
(T6th)
Rebound %
25.5
(17th)
75.3
(7th)
Field Goal % .470
(5th)
.451
(14th)
3-Point % .399
(2nd)
.392
(T28th)
Free Throw %
.777
(10th)
.737
(3rd)
Turnover %
12.84
(4th)
13.56
(16th)
Assist %
60.53
(9th)
53.97
(3rd)
Category Offense
(rank)
Defense
(rank)
Efficiency Rating 104.0
(16th)
109.0
(28th)
Rebound %
28.8
(6th)
73.2
(T19th)
Field Goal % .471
(4th)
.484
(T29th)
3-Point % .324
(T29th)
.373
(T24th)
Free Throw %
.734
(25th)
.776
(25th)
Turnover %
14.41
(25th)
13.80
(11th)
Assist %
56.66
(20th)
57.49
(14th)
Record Wins Losses
Overall 35 6
Conference 24 3
Division 6 2
Home 22 2
Away 13 4
Position Conference Division
Record 1st 1st
Lineups

Starters
PG: Tony Parker
SG: Manu Ginobili
SF: Richard Jefferson
PF: DeJuan Blair
C: Tim Duncan

Key Bench Players
George Hill
Gary Neal
Antonio McDyess
Tiago Splitter
Matt Bonner (hurting)

Record Wins Losses
Overall 13 28
Conference 9 18
Division 4 6
Home 8 12
Away 5 16
Position Conference Division
Record 12th 4th
Lineups

Starters
PG: Jose Calderon
SG: DeMar DeRozan
SF: Julian Wright
PF: Amir Johnson
C: Andrea Bargnani

Key Bench Players
Ed Davis
Sundiata Gaines
Linas Kleiza (hurting)
Jerryd Bayless (hurting)
Leandro Barbosa (out)
Reggie Evans (out)

Matchup Analysis

Point Guard
Shooting Guard
Small Forward
Power Forward
Center
Bench
Coach
Intangibles
Mojo
Winner

Starters

PG: Calderon isn't Derek Fisher, but Tony should still be able to get the shots he wants.

SG: As noted above, DeRozan is dangerous, but we're talking about Manu Ginobili, folks.

SF: RJ 2.0 is more than adequate to win this matchup.

PF: This one is interesting. Johnson's length and hops could cause some problems for DeBeast. Both players like to attack the glass.

C: I suppose the 4/5 positions have become fairly interchangeable, but does anyone think of Bargs as a center? Didn't think so. A contrast of styles from two players who can produce for their teams. Timmy gets the edge for all-around contributions, including leadership and D.

Bench

Former Raptor Matt Bonner missed Sunday's game against the Nuggs and he may be scratched from the lineup again. Even if this is the case, the Spurs have the edge over a depleted Raptors team that has become a MASH unit.

Coaching

Get Off My Lawn!

Intangibles

Knowing what it takes to win is a big advantage that comes from having winning experiences. Sounds simple, because it is. Advantage Spurs.

Mojo

The Raps look to get off their four-game schneid, while the Spurs try to extend their winning streak to seven games. Look for a Lucky 7 at home in the Alamo City.

Prediction

Spurs by double digits.

Key(s) to the Game

Key 1 - Boxing out. Even with Evans on the shelf for so long, Toronto has maintained a No.6 ranking in offensive rebounding %. The Spurs must keep the Dinos off the glass and limit their second opportunities.

Key 2 - Balance/Ball Movement. Double your pleasure here with two keys in one, as team ball movement should lead to some balanced team scoring. With the Raptors defense near the bottom of the league in scoring defense/100 possessions and FG% allowed, the Spurs will get good looks if their passing is crisp. Result: a host of double-figure scorers, rather than just a couple of players filling up the basket.

Other Reading

Spurs

48 Minutes of Hell - Spurs site affiliated with ESPN TrueHoop

OPPONENT

Raptors HQ (SB Nation)
Raptors Republic (TrueHoop)

Following Along

TV

Fox Sports SW

Radio

WOAI 1200AM; Audio League Pass[streaming]

Online

As always, NBA league pass is recommended for those who are willing to pony up the cash. Almost every Spurs game will be broadcast there, which is especially helpful for those of us who aren't in the San Antonio area. AND GUESS WHAT: League Pass will be free during the time of this particular game (I am not sure how this may vary depending on cable/satellite provider, or the area of the world where you live).

Please don't post links to illegal game feeds in the game thread. Links to illegal feeds are not permitted on SBNation, but you can probably find them out there on the internets if you're resourceful and desperate. You can also shoot an email to poundingtherockmail@yahoo.com(IMPORTANT: Please include your PtR username in the email for reference) for further assistance.

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