clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Game Preview #32: San Antonio Spurs @ Toronto Raptors

That was a close one last night, eh? I wonder if this team will ever get their wits aboot them for a full 48 minutes.

This guy needs to attack.

OK fine, I'm done with the cheesy "Canadian" humor. Matt Bonner probably loves it, though - he has nothing better to do, and he still lives in Toronto. Step inside, it's cold out there and we have a game to preview.

San Antonio Spurs @ Toronto Raptors
Where: Air Canada Centre - Toronto, ON
When: January 3, 2010; 5:00 PM Spurs time
Watch: NBA TV(Nationwide); FSN SW(San Antonio); RTV(Toronto)


How They Stack Up
14-5 Home 11-5
6-6 Road 5-13
102.3 Offense 103.3
95.7 Defense 105.7
48.6 FG% 47.0
38.5 3-pt% 36.6
75.0 FT% 77.2
42.5 Rebounds 40.6
14.6 TOs 13.5
8-2 Last 10 6-4
Won 5 Streak Lost 1
2nd, Southwest Position 2nd, Atlantic

Country/Time Zone Game Time
Argentina 8:00 PM
West Coast 3:00 PM
Philippines 7:00 AM
Central Europe Midnight
Palestine/Egypt 1:00 AM
Least Coast 8:30 PM
Colorado/Arizona 4:00 PM
Perth, AUS 7:00 AM
Tokyo, JP 8:00 AM
Sydney, AUS 9:00 AM



Tony Parker
French Bullet Train

Point Guard

Calderon has been sidelined for the last 2 weeks with a hip problem. Tony's been playing well as of late - well, prior to last night, at least. This should be a fairly easy matchup for Tony, but he can't afford to fall asleep on D.

Advantage: Spurs

Jarrett Jack
Not Jose Calderon


Keith Bogans
Bringer of DOOM

Shooting Guard

One thing that's interesting about Toronto's lineup is that they create a lot of height mismatches. DeRozan is 6'7", so he has a 2 inch height advantage on Keith, with a bit more speed to boot. I still think Keith can hold his own, and he might even be able to score some points in this one. But, neither one of these guys is really a focal point for their team, so nobody wins.

Advantage: Neither

DeMar DeRozan
Promising Rookie


Richard Jefferson

Small Forward

RJ seems to have a nasty habit of leaving guys open from beyond the arc. Hedo does most of his damage from distance, where he's shooting over 40% on the year. He also rebounds and finds teammates for scores better than RJ. Then again, the Raps actually run plays for Hedo.

Advantage: Raptors

Hedo Turkoglu
Slightly Less Overpaid


Dejuan Blair
The Beast

Power Forward

The Beast is quite clearly overmatched here. I only hope he can take advantage of Bosh's soft defense to get some points of his own.

Advantage: Raptors

Chris Bosh
Future Houston Rocket?


Tim Duncan
King of the Ice Thrown


Let's get this out of the way - this as big a mismatch as Blair vs. Bosh. However, I get the feeling Timmy and Blair will be switching on the defensive end, since it doesn't take a lot of cunning to deal with Bargs. It's simple: stay in front of him, and challenge his shot. However, given how much trouble we had containing Michael Beasley the other day, I'm not sure how effective our defense of Bargs will be. On the other end, Timmy will absolutely destroy Bargs, period.

Advantage: Spurs

Andrea Bargnani
Dirk 0.7


Manu Ginobili
The Great One

Bench & Role Players

We have the best bench in the league, by far. And it doesn't hurt when you have best single bench player in the league, either. Toronto's bench isn't bad, but ours has bowled over every opponent they've faced, and that doesn't look like it will be stopping anytime soon. Roger Mason has been on a tear lately, too - don't expect the Raps to slow him down.

Advantage: Spurs

Marco Belinelli
Less Than Photogenic


Gregg Popovich


Pop is a winner. But he needs to cut it out with the looooong stretches of smallball, especially against a team that has the personnel to play smallball very well. Triano seems like a good enough coach, but he's a newbie. Pop wins.

Advantage: Spurs

Jay Triano
Hi, I coach the Raptors.
images via


Other Factors



Toronto is 11-5 at home, but we're 6-1 in our last 7 road games. Now that's a more Spurs-like number. Advantage: Spurs


Toronto got beaten last night by the Celtics, in Boston, but it was close. We're on a 5-game win streak. Advantage: Spurs

Winner: Spurs

I'm fighting the urge to call it a blowout, but the potential is there for one.

Keys To The Game

  • Defense - The Raptors are 5th in the league in offensive efficiency, no longer tied with us thanks to a pretty tough game for them last night. However, they are dead last in the league when it comes to playing defense. Our guys should have no trouble scoring, but they have to get stops to get a win. The frontcourt is key - we gave up 34 points in the paint last night, and the Raps have one of the best frontcourt scoring duos in the league.
  • Passing - The best way to take advantage of the most porous defense in the league? Find your teammates in good situations.
  • Bench Play - Just keep doing what you do, BAM.

Last Time They Met

The last time these two teams met was in the Spurs' 6th game of the season, when the Spurs won a wild shootout with some clutch play from a certain Argentine difference-maker.

Strength of Schedule

Both teams are on a SEGABABA, so not really any difference here.

Some Other Reading


Raptors HQ - Here you'll find SB Nation's Raptors blog. Intelligent writing and good analysis abounds - go take a look.
Hoop Heads North - This is another one from the Bloguin network, like our friends over at Project Spurs. It's more of a traditional blog, but still good reading.
Raptors Republic - This is one of the busiest blogs on the TrueHoop network, and they seem to have a blog-by-committee approach, sort of like we do here.


48 Minutes of Hell: Tim and Graydon still do their thing like nobody else on the TrueHoop Network. We're lucky to have them.
Project Spurs: These guys do a great job with multimedia content, and it's always good to get another perspective. Go say hi, and check out their podcasts.
SpursTalk - Oh yes, I did. There are actually some intelligent people over there, if you can wade through the rampant douchiness of some of the other members.

The (sort of) Daily Twitter


Me and @George_Hill3 is making a song and we need some ideas???? Help us out PLEASE!!!! We will post it next week!!!!!


Today's date is: 01022010 Backwards and Foward!! Enjoy this day in history!
More Analysis

A while back, BlaseE did one of his great "My Team is Better Than Yours" articles on the Raptors. It's a good read, and he came to this conclusion:

I really like the moves they've made. Their starting unit will really compete and probably dominate some teams. If some young guys step up then they can have a pretty solid team, but I just don't see it. I like the Raptors and a lot of their players so I'll be rooting for them to make the playoffs, but I'm not sure they have really separated themselves from the pack despite improving. Rebounding could be the death of their team.

Where to Tune In


This game will be televised locally in San Antonio(Fox Sports SW) and Toronto(RTV, whatever that is). It will also be on NBA TV, which means...


League Pass Broadband will not be broadcasting this game in North America. I hate NBA TV. For online viewing in other countries, see below.

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. In fact, nobody can stop you from googling "atdhe". You can also shoot an email to me at for more assistance.

Spurs League Pass audio is still free this year if all else fails, so check it out.


If you're in the San Antonio area and aren't near a TV, tune in to WOAI (1200 AM).