Game On: Toronto Raptors at New Orleans Pelicans

Published: March 19, 2014

The Pelicans go into this game looking for their third straight win and their sixth in the last eight games, while Toronto comes into tonight fresh off an overtime loss at Atlanta last night. Combine that with the fact that Raptors Center Jonas Valanciunas will likely miss this game with a back sprain, and this game suddenly appears very winnable. But for the Pelicans to get the W, they will have to do the following:

Keys to the Game

1. Don’t be Afraid to Go Small

Without Valanciunas, the Raptors will use Chuck Hayes as their primary Center. Tyler Hansborough and Amir Johnson will likely get some minutes there as well, which presents Monty with the perfect opportunity to go small with AD at Center most of the night. This would allow Aminu to play the four (probably his best position), and would also open up some minutes for Babbitt at power forward. The Pelicans offense would have much more space and it would not cost them on the other end.

2. Make Derozen a Jump Shooter

Derozen shoots 45% on two’s and 30% on three’s, but he is still a fairly efficient scorer because he gets to the line 8 times per game. I would actually put Gordon on him, because Gordon is quick enough to stay in front of him. Derozen will see the height advantage and choose to just shot over Gordon, which is exactly what we should want.

3. Win the Battle of the Bench

Toronto got out to a huge lead last night in Atlanta, but the Hawks bench got them back in the game. The only real weapon the Raptors bench has is Vasquez, and the Pelicans should know better than anyone how to contain him. Meanwhile, Morrow needs to break out of his slump and Rivers needs to use his quickness on the other end to blow by Vasquez.

Update: Anthony Davis is OUT with an upper respiratory infection.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.