Despite a tough 94-82 loss to the 'Derrick Rose-less' Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night, the Toronto Raptors now prepare for the return of Linsanity and the New York Knicks.
Only 8 weeks ago, the New York Knicks caught fire thanks in part to the introduction of Jeremy Lin to the Knicks starting lineup - something that was spawned out of necessity. They were in need of a spark while Carmelo Anthony (injury) & Amare Stoudemire (death of his brother) were out of the lineup. The Knicks head coach at the time, Mike D'Antoni, was seeing the Knicks have success in his system and they ripped off 7 straight wins, but when Carmelo Anthony came back into the lineup the Knicks struggled again losing 6 straight. D'Antoni resigned from his head coaching position and assistant coach Mike Woodson took over the helm. Since then, the Knicks have seemingly turned their fortunes around and are currently on a 5 game winning streak.
The Toronto Raptors are currently on a 3 game losing streak in part due to battling injuries (Jerryd Bayless), their loss of Leandro Barbosa through trade, and Andrea Bargnani "getting his sea legs back" (as Coach Dwane Casey said in the Raptors/Bulls post game media scrum).
After losing a last second heartbreaker to the New York Knicks (thanks to a Lin-sane buzzer beater) the last time these two teams met up at the Air Canada Centre, not to mention the 106-87 beatdown on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden. The Raptors should have plenty to be motivated by going into tonight's match up.
Tonight's game also marks the first time ever that a Toronto Raptors home game will be televised in Canada with a Mandarin broadcast. The Mandarin broadcast can seen on OMNI TV, with tip off @ 7pm ET. In Canada, the English television broadcast can be seen this evening on Rogers SportsNet One, or via NBA League Pass Broadband. Also, as always, the Raptors radio broadcast can be heard on Sportsnet Fan 590.
Here are Raptors employees (and friends of Hoop Heads North), Akil Augustine & Jay Satur sitting down to speak with a special guest, Bo, about tonight's game and the Mandarin broadcast:
As Jay & Akil mentioned, tonight will be the last opportunity to win tickets through the very cool & innovative #RTZ Raptors Game Night conversation on Twitter. The best tweet of the night using the #RTZ hashtag will be chosen and the winner will receive 2 tickets to an upcoming Toronto Raptors home game, their last home game, which will be vs. the New Jersey (soon to be Brooklyn) Nyets on Thursday April 26th. Be sure to join the conversation tonight for your chance to win!