Matchup: Toronto Raptors vs. New Orleans Pelicans
Records: Raptors (1-3), Pelicans (3-2)
Where to Watch
Date: Saturday, Jan. 2
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
TV: Sportsnet (Canada), NBA TV (USA)
Location: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA
The Raptors and Pelicans meet again.
On Saturday, the two teams will face off for the second and final time in the first half of the 2020-21 season. The first meeting between them was a tale of two halves, with the Raptors jumping out to an early lead and the Pelicans storming back in the second half to come away with a 14-point win.
Brandon Ingram stole the show for the Pelicans with 24 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds, paving the way for him to take home Western Conference Player of the Week honours.
Leading the @PelicansNBA to a 2-1 record in Week 1, Brandon Ingram (@B_Ingram13) was named the Western Conference Player of the Week! #BestOfNBA- NBA (@NBA) December 28, 2020
26.7 PPG | 7.3 RPG | 6.7 APG | 3.0 3PG pic.twitter.com/Q0joDvNLEJ
The Pelicans are 2-2 since their win over the Raptors, with wins coming against the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder, and losses coming to the Miami Heat and Phoenix Suns. Ingram is leading them in scoring through five games with an average of 22.6 points, followed by Zion Williamson with 19.4 points.
The Raptors haven't been as successful as the Pelicans. They're 1-2 since their opening night loss to the Pelicans, picking up a win against the New York Knicks on New Year's Eve after coming up short against the Spurs and Philadelphia 76ers.
The Raptors will be looking to start 2021 with a bang by defeating the team that upset them on opening night.
3 Things to Watch
1. OG Anunoby getting back on track
Anunoby was a popular MIP pick coming into the season.
So far, it's been a bit of a struggle for him.
Anunoby played well in Toronto's loss to the 76ers, posting 20 points, six rebounds and five steals, but he failed to score in double figures against both the Pelicans and Knicks. Toronto's win over New York was particularly rough for him - Anunoby was limited to five points on 1-for-10 shooting from the field and 0-for-7 from 3-point range.
Anunoby is now averaging 10.8 points on 40.5 percent shooting from the field and 25.0 percent from 3-point range to start the season. The Raptors need him to find his groove sooner rather than later.
2. Norman Powell keeping his foot on the gas
It's been a rough start to the season for Powell as well, but he shined in Toronto's win over New York, coming up with 17 points as Pascal Siakam's replacement in the starting lineup.
17 for #24 pic.twitter.com/bk6AMF4gbL- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) January 1, 2021
The Raptors can only hope that's a sign of what's to come for Powell, who is coming off of a breakout 2019-20 season with an average of 16.0 points per game.
3. 3-point shooting
The Pelicans shot the lights out in their win over the Raptors a week ago.
J.J. Redick led the charge by going 6-for-11 from deep, but the Pelicans got a big boost from Eric Bledsoe and Lonzo Ball, who combined to shoot 8-for-16 from 3-point range.
In the games since, Bledsoe has gone 4-for-18 from the perimeter while Ball has gone 6-for-27.
The Pelicans become an entirely different team when the two of them are making shots.
The Raptors and Pelicans haven't submitted an injury report for the game yet. Check back closer to the tip.
- The Raptors currently rank 30th in offensive efficiency (98.1) and third in defensive efficiency (100.0).
- The Pelicans rank 25th in offensive efficiency (102.6) and fourth in defensive efficiency (101.0).
- Pascal Siakam did not play in Toronto's win over New York on New Year's Eve for disciplinary reasons.
- The Pelicans are averaging 14.2 second chance points per game this season, ranking them 8th in the league.
- Christian Wood (17.3) and Ja Morant (16.7) are the only players currently averaging more points per game in the paint than Zion Williamson (15.2).
Last Time They Played
Date: Dec. 23, 2020
Score: Pelicans 113, Raptors 99
Pelicans: Brandon Ingram - 24 points, 11 assists, 9 rebounds, 3 steals
Raptors: Pascal Siakam - 20 points, 6 assists, 6 rebounds
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