Game Preview: Raptors at Warriors
Holly MacKenzie - Raptors.com
Toronto Raptors (2-1) @ Golden State Warriors (2-2)
When: Wednesday, October 25th 10:30 P.M. ET
Where: Oracle Arena, Oakland, CA
Broadcast info: SN1, TSN1050
The Raptors dropped a 121-111 decision to the Warriors in the middle of a six-game West Coast road trip last December. Despite DeMar DeRozan scoring 29 points to pass Chris Bosh and become the franchise scoring leader, the Raptors couldn’t overcome a first quarter that saw the Warriors explode for 42 points. Kyle Lowry added 27 points and 11 assists for Toronto as Golden State had three players reach double figures with Stephen Curry’s 28 points leading the way.
LEADING INTO TONIGHT
Valanciunas' status unknown: After suffering an ankle sprain in Toronto’s victory against the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday, Jonas Valanciunas missed Toronto’s loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Monday. Though he is on the trip with his teammates, his status for Wednesday’s game is unknown.
Day-to-day: In addition to Valanciunas, DeMar DeRozan and Lucas Nogueira are also listed as day-to-day heading into Wednesday’s game. DeRozan did not participate in Tuesday’s practice after taking a hard fall in Monday's loss to the Spurs. Nogueira was also dealing with a sore ankle after landing awkwardly in the game.
Poeltl playing big: Sophomore Jakob Poeltl was fantastic off the bench against San Antonio in Valanciunas’ absence. In 26 minutes he recorded a 10-point, 12-rebound double-double, playing with energy and making his presence felt around the rim with three blocked shots. With Valanciunas’ status up in the air, Dwane Casey being able to rely on Poeltl off the bench will be crucial.
Delon Wright had the best description of what it feels like to complete a successful euro step against Manu Ginobili:
This like finally beating your dad 1on1 https://t.co/9RMSVvkNtp— Delon Wright (@delonwright) October 24, 2017
Crashing the boards: Toronto missed Valanciunas in the paint in Monday’s loss. Though the Raptors and Spurs both shot under 45 percent from the floor, San Antonio dominated the glass holding a 55-34 advantage in rebounds, including an 18-5 edge on the offensive glass. Spurs’ point guard Dejounte Murray had a game-high 14 rebounds. Though the Raptors will be giving up size if Valanciunas is sidelined, they will need to limit extra possessions.
Tempers flare: On Monday, the NBA announced that Warriors guard Stephen Curry had been fined $50,000 for throwing his mouthpiece in the direction of an official with 43.6 seconds remaining in a loss against the Memphis Grizzlies. Warriors forward Andre Iguodala was fined $15,000 for verbally abusing a game official. The Warriors bounced back from that frustrating loss to record a 133-103 blowout victory against the Dallas Mavericks.
Numbers on the board: Expect a fast-paced, high-scoring game on Wednesday. Through four games played, the Warriors are currently second in the league in points per game, averaging 120.8 points, The Raptors, through three games played, are averaging 114 points per contest, eighth in the league.