Raptors face the Sacramento Kings tonight at the ACC looking to make it 9 wins in 10 games. The Kings have won 3 of 4 and are possibly not going to have Tyreke Evans in the line-up. They will have unless he does something crazy between now and 7pm: DeMarcus Cousins. He has been a guy that has given the Raptors fits in his short and troubled NBA career.
He has averaged an even 20 points per game with 11.5 rebounds shooting 58.4% (31 of 53) in just 4 games. Even going back to college at Kentucky when I tuned in to watch what all the hype was about with John Wall in the end I walked away impressed with DeMarcus Cousins.
The Raptors undermanned front court should have all kinds of trouble slowing him down.. You will have a motivated Ninja in James Johnson to deal with as well. Johnson hit a game winning shot for the Kings recently. It really isn’t his offense the Raptors will be worried about. It will be his defense and has ability to come from out of nowhere and block shots.
The Kings beat the Raptors in the previous meeting this season. It was part of the west coast road trip from hell. It was a 107-100 win in which Kyle Lowry led all scorers with 34 points on the night. Cousins had 25 to lead the Kings and Evans who may not play tonight had 23 points.
Terrence Ross in that game played 12 minutes and failed to register a point in that contest. He comes into this one riding a wave of momentum leading the Raptors in scoring for the first time in a game and getting a career high 26 points against Portland. His play was about as good as his virtual likeness in NBA 2K13 as he was a scorching hot 6-9 from behind the arc.
Almost flying under the radar in that last win was DeMar DeRozan scoring two less points than Ross. How did DeMar DeRozan bring in 2013? DeRozan was studying game tapes to prepare for the Trail Blazers from 1:30am till 3am according to the quote from an article written by Doug Smith in the Toronto Star.
When we talk about DeMar DeRozan being a dedicated hard worker it isn’t just talk it is reality.
Ed Davis meanwhile was just trying to find time on the floor behind Andrea Bargnani the last time these two teams met. He performed well with 13 points and 11 rebounds in roughly 23 minutes of action. Safe bet he sees more time on the floor than that this evening.
The Raptors have shown the ability to beat teams they are supposed to beat of late. The Kings have an identical 12-20 record as the Raptors but are also a terrible road team like Toronto with just a 2-13 record on the road this season. They are a respectable 5-5 in their last 10 games but the Raptors in the same period are 8-2.
The Raptors all time at the ACC have a 10-6 record against the Kings. Winners of 4 of the last 5 games the one lose did come last season under Dwane Casey though. Still you have to feel confident the Raptors can come out and get a victory with the way they have been playing of late.