NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, November 1st
(All times Eastern)
Toronto Raptors (1-0) at Atlanta Hawks (0-1), 7:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Atlanta Hawks will try to get that first victory of
the season Friday night in their home opener against the Toronto Raptors.
The Hawks fell to the Dallas Mavericks, 118-109, in Dallas on Wednesday. It
marked the first time they opened a season without Josh Smith since the
Jeff Teague, who was re-signed in the offseason, had 24 points and missed a
double-double by one assist. It wasn't all roses for Teague as he committed
Paul Millsap, the prize free agent who will replace Smith, had 20 points in
his Atlanta debut. DeMarre Carroll (14) and Al Horford (11) scored in double
figures as starters and Cartier Martin, another free-agent newcomer, netted a
whopping 17 points in less than 17 minutes of action.
The offense worked fine for the Hawks on Wednesday, it was the other side of
the ball that was a struggle. The Mavericks scored 118 points, shot 57 percent
from the field and 45.8 percent from long range.
"We played well at times, but give them credit for playing better longer,"
said new Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer. "We've got to get a lot better. We're
not going to be successful if that's the kind of defense (we play)."
The Raptors opened their campaign with a 93-87 home win over Atlantic Division
rivals, the Boston Celtics.
It was a nice all-around effort for Toronto. Rudy Gay led the way with 19
points, followed by 13 apiece from Amir Johnson and DeMar DeRozan and Kyle
Lowry chipped in with 11.
Jonas Valanciunas, a preseason choice for Most Improved Player, only scored
eight points, but pulled down 11 rebounds and blocked two shots. Tyler
Hansbrough, who signed with the Raptors in the offseason, blocked three shots
and grabbed 12 boards as the Raptors slaughtered the Celtics by 15 on the
The Raptors clobbered Boston 28-11 in the second quarter, but the Celtics
bounced back with a 34-22 second quarter. The lull left a bad taste in head
coach Dwane Casey's mouth.
"I thought we grinded it out when it got tough and they made their run," said
Casey. "I like the way our guys bounced back, but we should have never put
ourselves in that hole."
The Hawks have taken 13 of the last 16 contests between the two squads,
although the Raptors bested them the last time the teams met in Atlanta last
11/01 10:39:26 ET