A few things to know about the Raptors before the 3 p.m. tipoff:
- Phil Jackson described the Raptors’ style of play: “It’s about their spacial relations on the floor rather than being a running team. This is a flow team. They’re not particularly about fast break (offense) or running the ball up the floor; they get a lot of points because they open the floor up. (Chris) Bosh will be on the post, but there are relatively few guys on the post, so as a consequence you have to cover a wide open court.
- Andrea Bargnani, who ranks second on Toronto in scoring and rebounding with 17.2 points per game and 6.4 rebounds per game (and is tied with Hedo Turkoglu for the team high in three-pointers made ) will start. He had missed Toronto’s last game with a sore lower back and was questionable to play.
- Bosh is one of two NBA players (Zach Randolph) averaging 20-plus points and 10-plus rebounds, with marks of 24.1 points an 11.1 boards.
- Jarrett Jack, who began starting at point guard 22 games ago when Jose Calderon sat with an injury, has continued to start since Calderon returned and put up a season-high 27 points during Friday’s win over Milwaukee. He’s averaging 10.5 points and 4.7 assists.
- Toronto’s defense has improved significantly since early in this season: during the first 21 games, opponents averaged 110 points per game against the Raptors, but since Dec. 5 at Chicago, the Raptors are conceding an average of 99.7 points per game. On offense, meanwhile, the Raptors are the highest scoring team in the Eastern Conference with 103.6 points per game.
- The Raptors have won five consecutive games against Western Conference teams, defeating Dallas, San Antonio, New Orleans, Houston and Minnesota all at Air Canada Centre.