The Raptors go for their first three-game win streak of this season when they host the Cavaliers tonight.
Those of you brave soles who have followed this entire Raptors season may remember the promise coach Darko Rajakovic made to his team many moons ago. Three straight wins and he takes the team out for dinner on his dime. While nearly half of the players he promised that to at the time have since been moved to other teams, I’m sure his deal stands.
For only the fourth time this season, and the first time in over a month, the Toronto Raptors have won back to back games. Having returned home last night for the first of a four-game home stand before the All-Star break, they’ll host the red hot Cleveland Cavaliers as they look for a third straight win.
The last time these teams faced each other was back on New Year’s day, and not only did both teams look fairly different, it was also the tipping point for Cleveland’s season. The Raptors took them down, which actually marked the first win of the last time they won back to back games. That game also serves as the Cavaliers’ second last loss.
You read that right, it’s February 10th, and Cleveland has only lost once since January 1st. Following the loss to the Raptors, the Cavs rang off eight wins in a row, interrupted by a loss to Milwaukee, and are one again on an eight game winning streak. With their starting lineup back to full health and being on a 16-1 streak, Cleveland looks like a true championship contender.
While beating the Cavaliers will be an uphill battle, the Raptors are adding a few reinforcements that weren’t in the lineup against Houston last night. Recently acquired Canadian big man Kelly Olynyk and young wing (and Cleveland Cavaliers draft pick) Ochai Agbaji will make their Raptors debut tonight after being acquired at the trade deadline on Thursday.
Agbaji and Olynyk were in the building last night and could’ve suited up, but were given some time to acclimate themselves with the team.
They face a tough challenge in their first game with Toronto, taking on one of the hottest teams in the league. If they are able to pull it out, it’ll surely be worth it as Darko will finally get to throw the pizza party he’s been waiting all season to have.
How to Watch:
TSN at 7:30 pm ET
Toronto: Immanuel Quickley, Gary Trent Jr., RJ Barrett, Scottie Barnes, Jakob Poeltl
Cleveland: Darius Garland, Donovan Mitchell, Max Strus, Evan Mobley, Jarrett Allen
Toronto: RJ Barrett (questionable - knee)
Cleveland: Ty Jerome (out - ankle), Tristan Thompson (out - suspension)