3-on-3: Previewing Raptors @ Hornets

Published: February 29, 2012

The exceptional Zarar Siddiqi joins Mason and I to take a closer look at at the Hornets game against the Raptors tonight.

Aaron Gray is falling down, falling down, falling down. Aaron Gray is falling down, I still miss him...

It’s a beautiful day for a beat down in the Crescent City, and that’s just what I think the Hornets are going to do to the Raptors later on tonight. If the past is any indication, it’s going to happen. Since the beginning of time, the Hornets have never lost on Leap Day.

You can read more from Zarar Siddiqi at Raptors Republic, or on twitter @zararsiddiqi

1. Which matchup most favors the Raptors?

Zarar Siddiqi: Point guard.  In case you haven’t heard, Jose Calderon now can play and also has trade value.  I know, it’s a shock to us too, but the Spaniard is dropping dimes left and right, and is looking for his scoring as well.  Gone are the days when Calderon was only got a mention when talking AST/TO or FT streaks, soon are the days when he’s flanking Kobe on their way to a title.

Mason Ginsberg: Toronto has no definitive edge without Bargnani; if I had to pick one, though, I’d go shooting guard. After a solid sophomore season, DeMar DeRozan has taken a big step backwards this season. That being said, he and Barbosa are both exceptionally quick off the dribble, and if they both attack the paint instead of settling for long jumpers, they could give Belinelli trouble all night long.

Joe: I guess power forward. Combined, Amir Johnson and Ed David hold a slight edge over Gustavo Ayon and whoever else the Hornets throw in up top. This of course assumes that as reported yesterday, the Hornets will be without Smith and Okafor.

2. Which matchup most favors the Hornets?

Zarar: We start a 7-foot Justin Bieber at center.

Mason: It has to be the front court, notably the center position. At this point, I’m not sure if Okafor will be back in action for New Orleans, but regardless, the Raptors are two quick Aaron Gray fouls away from giving Jamaal Magloire significant minutes. Yes, he is still in the NBA, can you believe it?

Joe: Well according to the Bulls announcers, Chris Kaman is a top three center. So that should answer that. OH, you don’t think so? Doesn’t matter. I’ll take him over Gray any day of the week.

3. Care to make some predictions about the game?

Zarar: Mario Belinelli will have a big game, ala, Carlos Delfino when he plays his ex-team.

Mason: Playing so well on the road against such a good team and then coming up just short will have the Hornets extra-motivated tonight. The Raptors played last night too, so both teams are on equal footing in that respect. Hornets win 87-82.

Joe: Hornets are going to stomp the Raptors. S-T-O-M-P. That’s how you spell stomp.


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