Dec 9, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Toronto Raptors center Andrea Bargnani (7) holds the ball away from Los Angeles Clippers small forward Matt Barnes (22) during the game at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Mavericks at Toronto Raptors Preview

When you’re guy says you’re bad it might make you real mad

That’s not amore’…

You know things aren’t looking good when someone on your team says you’re the worst team in the NBA. 

Andrea Bargnani may have stepped on some toes but he’s likely on the mark.  The Raptors have lost six in a row and 12 of 13. At 4-19, Toronto is ahead of only the 3-16 Washington Wizards in the NBA cellar.

Of course Bargnani, the Raptors leading scorer, is out indefinitely as is starting point guard Kyle Lowry.  In fact, the Raptors are lucky to have a capable veteran point guard in Jose Calderon still in the fold.  Dallas was a rumored possible destination for Calderon after the Raptors signed Lowry and before the Mavericks traded for Darren Collison.

Nevertheless, the Raptors’ record is fairly self-explanatory.  Surprisingly the stats don’t reveal any glaring weaknesses as far as routinely being outshot or pounded under the glass but they do have average point differential of nearly 3 1/2 points and their record is the result.

The Mavericks defeated the Raptors 109-104 in the first meeting between the two teams this year at Dallas.  Raptors head coach Dwane Casey was an assistant with Dallas from 2008-11 including when Mavericks won the 2011 NBA championship.  Vince Carter, of course, had some of his best years in Toronto and Shawn Marion and Dahntay Jones are also alumni.

Even with the last loss to the Celtics the Mavericks have been playing better overall and if they continue to play solid basketball, the Raptors shouldn’t be a problem.  Unfortunately that hasn’t been the case with other teams this season so Rick Carlisle must concentrate on fundamentally sound basketball and of course, minimizing the turnovers that have plagued them all year.



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