Matchup: Toronto Raptors vs New Orleans Pelicans
Records: Raptors (12-1), Pelicans (6-6)
Where to watch
Time: 7:30 p.m.
TV: SN1, NBATV US
Radio: SN 590
Location: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, ON
Kyle Lowry may be walking into his toughest tonight as he looks across the court at one of the best defensive guards in the league in Jrue Holiday. Holiday had been under the radar defensively for years until last April when New Orleans swept the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round of the playoffs with Holiday keeping both Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum in check.
Potentially without the services of Elfrid Payton and Nikola Mirotic, who's been playing great since he arrived to New Orleans last year in a trade with the Bulls, Holiday may be asked to not only provide his defensive prowess and will need to score as well. Entering tonight's matchup, Holiday is averaging 18.8 points and 8.8 assists per game, so he's certainly capable of stepping up on that side of the floor.
With Anthony Davis playing in the Western Conference, most Canadian fans don't get a chance to see how great he is on a night-to-night basis. Davis' scoring numbers (24.6 ppg) have dropped a bit but he's made up for it with his playmaking by averaging a career-high 4.8 assists per game. Davis comes to change and block shots at a high clip averaging 3.1 blocks per contest - which again is a career-high at this point in the season.
There's no denying that Anthony Davis is one of the league's top five players, and he'll leave his mark in Toronto on Monday in his only trip up to Canada all year.
Toronto's frontcourt rotation of Serge Ibaka and Jonas Valanciunas have caused opposing big men fits this season. They'll be tasked with not only guarding Davis but wearing him out on the defensive end.
Points in the paint will be a key stat to keep an eye on Monday. If Ibaka and Valanciunas can get their fair share inside on Davis and Julius Randle - who will probably get an uptick in minutes with Mirotic sidelined - they'll put themselves in a good position to grind away at the Pelicans frontline.
Last Time They Played
Date: November 15, 2017
Score: Raptors 125, Pelicans 116
Raptors: DeMar DeRozan - 25 points, nine rebounds, six assists
Pelicans: DeMarcus Cousins - 25 points, nine rebounds, five assists