Fred VanVleet

Game Preview: Raptors vs. Hawks

Holly MacKenzie -

Atlanta Hawks (20-44) @ Toronto Raptors (45-17)

When: Tuesday, March 6th, 7 P.M. ET

Where: Air Canada Centre

Broadcast info: SN1, SN590


Toronto last saw the Hawks in Atlanta in late January, earning a 108-93 victory behind a 16-point, 13-rebound performance from Jonas Valanciunas. Fred VanVleet had 19 points off the bench and DeMar DeRozan scored 14 points as the Raptors connected on 14 three-pointers. Toronto jumped out to a 17-6 lead in the first quarter, led by 12 after the first 12 minutes and never looked back. Heading into the fourth quarter, the Raptors lead had stretched to 20 points. The Hawks were led by Dennis Schroder's 20 points in the loss, with Kent Bazemore adding 13 points.


Injury report: OG Anunoby will be out for the third consecutive game with a sprained right ankle. Atlanta's injury report is still to be decided.

And another one: DeMar DeRozan was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played Feb. 26-Mar. 4. This is the fourth time this season that DeRozan has earned the honour, and the ninth time in his career. The Raptors went 4-0 during the week, thanks to DeRozan's 20.8 points, 5.8 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game.

Season series: Tuesday's game gives Toronto an opportunity to sweep their season-series with the Hawks for just the second time in team history. The last time Toronto swept the season-series against Atlanta was during the 2001-02 season.


Busy week: Tuesday's game will conclude a brief two-game homestand. Following the matchup against the Hawks, the team will travel to Detroit where they will face the Pistons in a back-to-back on Wednesday at 8 P.M. After Wednesday's game, the team will return once again to the Air Canada Centre to prepare for the Houston Rockets on Friday.

Poeltl power: Jakob Poeltl continues to impress teammates and coaches with his feel for the game. Despite not scoring a single point in Sunday's win against the Hornets, Poeltl made his presence felt around the rim, blocking three shots. The only rookie or sophomore to have more blocked shots this season then Poeltl (83) is Philadelphia's Joel Embiid (82), and Poeltl has blocked at least one shot in a career-high 12 games straight.

Block city: Serge Ibaka scored 17 points on Sunday, to go with eight rebounds and three blocked shots. Ibaka is averaging 1.37 blocks per game and has blocked multiple shots in a single game 21 times this season. In his last 10 games, he's averaging 13.5 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per contest. The ninth-year forward is 34 points away from reaching 8,000 for his career.


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