Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Johnson and Wright Won't Come Out To Play Today
The good news?
Due to an Achilles injury, the Batman of the Atlanta Hawks will not be able to suit up tonight against the Toronto Raptors. Which works out nicely considering the recent struggles of this Raptors squad. Basically averaging 21, 5 and 5 this year, Johnson has played his role in cementing Atlanta's place in the upper echelon of the Eastern Conference.
The bad news?
The Hawks usually kill us using a balanced attack.
Interesting Fact: The Hawks had 9 players score in double digits in our first meeting, and 6 players score in double digits in the second game. Evans, Williams, and Smith finished with 9 points.
Sure - having Johnson sit will help. But it's the style of play Atlanta thrives on that hurts us. The constant pressure from their defense forces turnovers, which helps them run teams out of the gym.
As for the Raptors, a combination of good and bad news: Antoine Wright will not be able to play tonight. It's good news because he hasn't exactly been playing great lately. During the 4 game trip, he managed to score a whopping 1 point in total. Think about it - he's actually played at least 10 minutes a game in the last week, but he hasn't made a single shot since March 7 (where he went 2 for 10...). Obviously, the bad news is that he still happens to be a very good piece we can throw at an athletic and gifted wing team like Atlanta...
3 Keys to the Game:
1. Transition D (ATL wants to play athletic and fast with us)
2. Squeeze The Orange (Like NBA2K10 always says...)
3. No helping/Stay on Shooters (No need to double down on Horford. Instead worry about Bibby, Crawford, and Evans.)
It's a big night for Toronto Raptors fans. If we can manage to win this one - it would do wonders for the locker room, media, and Raptors Nation. Catch the game tonight on TSN2 @ 7:00 EST.