Portland has had their ups and downs, but they picked up a win in a defensive game with the Celtics by a 97-92 score. Dame and CJ continue to get buckets, and the two of them make this team go.
Toronto, on the other hand, continues their winning ways, but despite the impressive record, they find themselves three games behind Milwaukee in the loss column. Every win they get will help their cause and keep them pushing forward.
The #10 scoring offense and #12 scoring defense in the league, Portland has been impressive this year, but not to the point that any of us are surprised. They continue to qualify for the playoffs, but it doesn’t look like they’ll be able to climb inside of the top three in the conference. They are going to need to start getting regular contributions from Aminu and Harkless, as you can only rely on your key reserves to do so much for your team. But if one thing is true of this Portland team that is different from years past, it is bench depth.
Unfortunately for Portland, Enes Kanter will not be able to play in this game over issues with his visa, so they will badly miss him off the bench. Evan Turner will sit with left knee soreness, but that’s a positive. He has struggled to fit in here this year, and with the way Seth Curry has shot the ball, they really have not needed him.
There is hardly anything we can say about this team that’s negative, as they compete in each and every game. They enhanced their depth chart with the trade deadline addition of Marc Gasol and the recent signing of Jeremy Lin. From the starting lineup to the bench, all of the personnel they have is truly impressive. Nick Nurse has been doing a remarkable job all season with his team during his first season as an NBA head coach, and it looks as if it will continue as well.
Kawhi continues to make big plays and lead the team in scoring. He is scoring close to 28 per game, but thanks to how many other stars are present this year, he is nowhere near even sniffing the MVP race. Danny Green’s defense and ability to knock down the long ball is playing a big part in the team’s performance while watching Pascal Siakam is magnificent. He’s becoming a star before our very eyes.
Raptors get the job done, win #46
Be sure to bet TOR -5! They are going to win, and this is not going to be too tight a finish. Marc Gasol is going to be going head-to-head with Nurkic, and that matchup will play a big part in this game. Lowry will hit some big threes down the stretch to ensure Toronto’s W.
Free Pick: TOR -5
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