Matchup: Toronto Raptors vs. Brooklyn Nets
Records: Raptors (41-16); Nets (29-28)
Where To Watch
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Radio: SN 590
Location: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, ON
The Raptors finally have a full 12-man roster after making the blockbuster deal to land Marc Gasol at the trade deadline. Canadian Chris Boucher and Malcolm Miller were both signed to deals on Sunday ahead of Monday's game against the Brooklyn Nets. Having the 12-man roster now allows Toronto to dabble in the 10-day contact field as they continue to try and shape the roster for the postseason.
Gasol who made his Raptors debut in Saturday's win against the Knicks showed signs of being able to fit into what Toronto wants to do on both ends of the floor. With limited playing and practice time before the All-Star break, it will be a while before Nick Nurse and the team can truly unlock his potential with the squad.
MORE: Breaking down Marc Gasol's Raptors' debut
Kawhi Leonard had a season-low 11 points on 4-for-15 from the field in Saturday's win. He missed the prior game against Atlanta with a sore knee. With just two games before the All-Star break, it will be interesting to see how the Raptors manage his minutes and workload as they continue to build for the playoffs.
Speaking of playoffs, the Brooklyn Nets currently hold the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference and have every intention of punching their ticket to the postseason come April. Nets head coach Keith Atkinson made it clear on Sunday what his team's goals are.
"I think it is time to talk about we're in the mix to be in the playoffs," Atkinson told the media Sunday. "There's no doubt about it. I think we can say that clear. I've been waiting to say that. I'll say it right now.
"To me, it's above expectations. I didn't plan on being in this position. Credit to these guys.
"We're in kind of money time now. How we go into the All-Star break and how we finish this thing, like I said, I think there's expectations now, because we put ourselves in the position."
The Nets have had to deal with injuries and lineup changes all year long, but have stuck to together and played themselves into a potential playoff spot in large part due to the play of first-time All-Star D'Angelo Russell. Russell leads the team with 19.8 points, 6.5 assists and is the only Nets' starter to have missed only one game.
Caris Levert who was enjoying a great start to his third year made his return to the lineup against the Bulls on Friday after missing 41 games with a right foot dislocation.
With how close the bottom three teams are in the Eastern Conference, this could very well be a first-round series come April. Both Toronto and Brooklyn will be looking to send messages on Monday as they get ready for the much needed All-Star break.
- If Nets win it would give them their 13th road victory of the season, matching their road win total from all of last season.
- If Nets win it would snap Brooklyn's seven-game road losing skid in Toronto (last road win: 109-93 on 2/4/15), which is tied for the Nets' longest active road losing streak against any East team.
- Jarrett Allen is eighth in the league in dunks (116; he converted 117 dunks all of last season) and second among Eastern Conference players (Giannis Antetokounmpo), is 13th in bpg (1.5) and is 11th in FG % (.577).
- The Raptors will play their next six games at home (Feb. 11 - Mar. 1). Toronto's next road game is not until Mar. 3 at Detroit.
- The Raptors have won 11 of their last 12 games at Scotiabank Arena and are 22-5 (.815) at home this season - the third-best home record in the NBA behind only Denver (23-4) and Milwaukee (23-5).
- Toronto has won 41 games this season - tying the franchise record for most victories prior to the NBA All-Star Game. The Raptors were 41-16 (.719) entering the All-Star break last season.
Last Time They Played
Date: Jan 11, 2019
Score: Raptors 122, Nets 105
Raptors: Kawhi Leonard - 20 points, 11 rebounds, four assists
Nets: D'Angelo Russell - 24 points, nine assists, six rebounds