Matt Tierney - Raptors.com
Toronto (53-26) is in the Big Apple tonight to take on the Knicks (32-48) at Madison Square Garden. The Raptors managed to bounce back Friday night, recording a win over Indiana at Air Canada Centre. New York returns home after defeating the last-place Sixers to snap a mini two-game losing streak.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Jerian Grant – New York’s rookie point guard has gotten an opportunity in the starting lineup recently with Jose Calderon having missed four in a row due to a quad injury. Over those four games, Grant has averaged 13 points including a most recent 16 point, six assist, five rebound performance in a win over Philadelphia. If Calderon is unable to go again tonight, look for Grant to continue his run as a starter.
Delon Wright</strong – Not only is Joseph’s recent play noteworthy, but so is his new look as he sports a protective face mask compliments of an errant Jonas Valanciunas elbow a few games ago. The head gear seemed to not affect the Pickering native when he filled in admirably Friday night for a resting Kyle Lowry. Joseph recorded 18 points and finished one assist shy of a double-double.
THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT
Another back-to-back, another opportunity for others to impress.
With DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry, DeMarre Carroll and Luis Scola all resting Friday, many expected a tough night for Toronto up against a Pacers team fighting to secure one of the final playoff spots in the East.
The rest of the Raptors apparently didn’t get the memo as they put in a gritty performance en route to a 111-98 victory led by the rookie duo of Norman Powell and Delon Wright.
"They came out and played. That’s one thing you don’t have to worry about and that’s effort and intensity. I thought our young guys came out and played with a lot of effort and intensity,” said Dwane Casey postgame.
The 20th pick in last year’s draft, Delon Wright has found playing time limited with the Raptors, but has kept ready playing steadily for their D-League affiliate Raptors 905.
Always a quiet and humble kid, Wright was just appreciative at the chance to step on the court for some meaningful minutes. “When I first get out there I feel more comfortable. Everybody tells me to just attack and try and make the right play. I try to do that and try to do my best.”
Career highs from both rookies, recording a combined 46 points, 10 rebounds and six assists, plus key contributions from Terrence Ross and Joseph showed not only Indiana, but the rest of the league that the Raptors are not just a two-man team.