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- The Toronto Raptors (4-11), on a six-game losing streak, again will be without leading scorer Andrea Bargnani (22.3 points per game) who has missed the last four contests with a strained left calf. With hopes of finding the missing offense from guard DeMar DeRozan, Raptors head coach Dwane Casey hopes to temper expectations. “I think everybody was expecting him to come in like an All-Star and to be honest, I had high expectations of him, but I didn’t have expectations of him playing like an All-Star. That would be too unrealistic at the moment.” The Raptors will need a team effort as they haven’t beat the Trailblazers in six games including their last three at home.
- After losing four of their last five games, the Portland Trail Blazers (8-6) are hoping to resume their win streak over the Raptors. They will have center Marcus Camby back in the lineup, starting after returning from an ankle sprain injury. Nicolas Batum will be in the line up as well, after he was taken to the hospital after being poked in the eye on Wednesday against Atlanta.
- “I’m trying to bring the same thing I was bringing to the second team. We’re going to fight back, but instead of trying to do it after the game starts, we’re going to do it in the beginning of the game. We’re trying to get back in our winning mode, no one wants to go on a losing streak, that’s the streak that nobody wants to be on.”
– Raptors forward James Johnson on getting his second start of the season.
- “It’s a new group. When you add a new point guard, your back up point in Crawford is new, you bring in Kurt Thomas, Craig Smith, Gerald Wallace was only with us half a season last year. They have to come in and adapt to our style of play and building chemistry takes some time and they have to get their flow and get that rhythm.
– Trailblazers head coach Nate McMillan on team chemistry.
- “Felton is a jet! We were watching film this morning and I thought something was wrong with the video, it was going so fast.”
– Raptors head coach Dwane Casey on Blazer point guard Raymond Felton‘s speed.
– Duane Watson