Game On: Pelicans @ Raptors

Published: January 18, 2015

The New Orleans Pelicans are coming off their most disappointing loss of the season. The Pelicans will try to regroup in Toronto against the Raptors, the best team they will face on this road trip. The Raptors (26-13), are coming off a disappointing 21-point home loss to the streaking Atlanta Hawks. Raptors’ star DeMar DeRozan has eclipsed 20 points in both games since he’s been back, and shot over 60% as well. The Raptors are scoring at the third highest rate per game, but the defense that they rode to success last year has plummeted to a bottom ten-defense.

Here are the keys to the game:

  • Control DeRozan- DeRozan is the kind of wing who can take over a game. The Raptors are 14-4 when DeRozan plays, and he is often a barometer for the team. The discrepancy between the Raptors winning and losing can be seen in DeRozan, the win/loss splits being (20.7 to 16.3 points per game, 4.5 to 2.8 rebounds per game and 42.9% to 38.5% shooting from the field.) Control DeRozan, and the Pelicans can win the game.
  • Defense and Rebounding- In contrast to last year, the Raptors are struggling on the boards and on defense. The Raptors are in the bottom-10 in both of these categories, and the Pelicans are going to have to score and rebound well in order to take advantage of these flaws and position themselves for a win.
  • Get Tyreke Evans Rolling- Evans struggled mightily against Philadelphia, taking as many shots as he had turnovers (7). For this team to be successful, especially if one or both of the Jrue Holiday/Anthony Davis duo are out, is if Evans has a big game.

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