- “The thing we have to meet with Charlotte is their intensity,” said Raptors coach Dwane Casey. “They went into New York City last night and just thumped New York. They took them to the woodshed. We have to come in with the mindset that this team is going to play hard. We can’t let them out work us in any positions. Kemba Walker is playing at a very high level. They are a team that is very dangerous out there and we have to be prepared.”
- Walker is expected to play tonight. Walker suffered a left shoulder contusion after he and Metta World Peace collided in third quarter Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden. Walker had x-rays Tuesday night and an MRI Wednesday morning, but no structural damage was found. Walker tops the team with 18.5 points and 4.5 assists and netted a team-best 25 points in the win over the Knicks.
- Casey expects Jonas Valanciunas to get more time tonight against Charlotte. “They play a more traditional lineup,” Casey said, ” And that will give us a chance for him to be out there more. We expect to step up and take the next step in his evolution.” Valanciunas averaged 14.7 points and eight rebounds in three games against the Bobcats last season.
- The Bobcats will be without Al Jefferson (bone bruise, right ankle) once again. Jefferson played in the team’s season opener at Houston, but has not seen action since. Charlotte hopes he will be ready to play against New York Friday night. Brendan Haywood (stress fracture, left foot) is still sidelined with no return date scheduled. The Raptors had no injuries to report prior to the game.
– Derek Smith