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Mavs Vs. Raptors: Game Preview, TV Info And More

Dwayne Casey, a former Dallas assistant, leads a young Toronto team into the AAC in a must-win game for the reeling Mavericks.

After losing 104-102 on a Kevin Durant buzzer beater Thursday night, the Dallas Mavericks have a quick turn-around for a home game Friday night against the Toronto Raptors.

The loss at Oklahoma City dropped Dallas to 0-3, but the Mavericks showed signs of improvement after getting run off the court by the Miami Heat and the Denver Nuggets to open the season.

The Raptors are coached by former Dallas assistant Dwayne Casey, who helped orchestrate the Mavericks defense for the last three seasons.

They have started the season 1-1, defeating Cleveland 104-96 to open the season and dropping their home opener 90-85 to the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday.

They've featured third-year SG DeMar DeRozan more this season, as the 6'7 215 SG has averaged 18.5 points and 2.0 assists on 55% shooting in their first two games. He's a reluctant long-distance shooter, and his ability to attack the rim at 6'7 will be a challenge for the Mavericks aging perimeter defenders.

DeRozan's slashing game is a good complement to the 7'0 center Andrea Bargnani, Toronto's #1 overall pick in 2006 who modeled his game on Dirk Nowitzki growing up in Italy.

Under Casey, the Raptors will try to emphasize defense more, which means their young PF's (Ed Davis, Amir Johnson) will need to make up for Bargnani's inability to play on that side of the ball.

With Jonas Valanciunas, their 2011 lottery pick, staying in Europe for one more season, Toronto returns the majority of a team that won only 22 games last season. And with a home date against Oklahoma City on Monday, this is the type of game Dallas needs to win to get their season back on track.

The 7:30 PM game will be broadcast regionally on Fox Sports Southwest.

For the latest news and notes on the Mavericks, check out the indispensable Mavs Moneyball, and for more on the Raptors, check out RaptorsHQ.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.