Toronto Raptors at Dallas Mavericks (-4, 205 o/u)
After shooting out of a cannon early in the season, the Toronto Raptors (37-19, 16-10 away) are having a hard time finding consistency lately. Over its last two games – both losses – the team is averaging 86.5 PPG and shooting 37.3-percent from the floor and just 9/41 from three.
Last night, the Raps watched an 18-point lead evaporate in New Orleans, ultimately falling 100-97 to a Pelicans team that was without Anthony Davis and Ryan Anderson.
“We should have had that one,” said Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan. “It’s frustrating. We settled for too many jump shots and didn’t press the issue.”
Added Raptors head coach Dwane Casey, “We got 3-point happy a little bit. We have to take it to the basket. Some nights, threes aren’t falling. That’s when you drive it.”
Driving to the hoop may be an issue tonight when the Raptors face the Dallas Mavericks (38-20, 19-9 home), winners of eight of their last 11.
The Mavs added depth down low by signing 6’10” Amare Stoudemire just before the trade deadline. In his first appearance as a Maverick on Saturday, Stoudemire scored 14 points on 5/8 shooting in just 11 minutes as Dallas downed the Hornets 92-81.
“I thought [Stoudemire] gave us exactly what we thought he would give us, and that’s some scoring off the bench and some catching and finishing in the paint,” Dallas forward Dirk Nowitzki said. “He’s got a nice little touch from 16 and 17 feet, and he’s still a big body and a good rebounder.”
Dallas has even more reason to be confident tonight as guard Monta Ellis – who had been struggling of late, scoring just 26 points over a four-game stretch – seems to have put his troubles behind him on the weekend, scoring 23 against Charlotte.
which have won eight of its last 11 games.
As far as tonight’s game is concerned, the Raptors are 17-9 o/u on the road; they haven’t shot the ball well in the last two games, but they’re generally a high-scoring team (104.9 PPG) that will find its rhythm once again. The play is the over (205).
(Photo credit: Keith Allison (originally posted to Flickr as Dirk Nowitzki) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo has been cropped from its original.)