It really is crazy how different two teams can be, just based on the man appointed as head coach. Luke Walton’s Sacramento Kings group began the year 0-5 before winning their last two games but have certainly looked unimpressive. They rank near the bottom of the league in points per game, while sitting middle of the pack in points allowed. It is unfortunate that Harry Giles is yet to play this year with all he has had to go through, missing his entire rookie season already, then being limited in his sophomore campaign.
Toronto, on the other hand, has looked very good under Nick Nurse thus far. He has been coaching this team as if the whole year is a playoff grind, keeping his rotation pretty tight. Fred VanVleet and Kyle Lowry have stepped up their games as scorers, while Pascal Siakam’s rise to the top has continued with him continuing to play like a true superstar out there. This is a team that cannot be slept on, and still looks good enough, even without Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green, to make a serious playoff run.
The host Toronto Raptors enter Wednesday night’s game with the Sacramento Kings as eight-point favorites, while the over/under is set at 219.5.
Going For Three
The Kings rallied to knock off the Utah Jazz late before having their way with the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. It is hard to exactly say why the team fired Dave Joerger after their best season in nearly 12 years, but Vlade Divac has always had a short leash with Sacramento head coaches. Mike Malone was canned too soon, as the coach who was able to get the most out of DeMarcus Cousins. De’Aaron Fox is leading the way, averaging 19 points per game to go along with six assists. All of the money they spent on Trevor Ariza, Cory Joseph and Dewayne Dedmon is not looking too good right now, though.
The last thing any of us expected was to see Richaun Holmes as the starting center for an extended stretch, but he has surprised us all. Look for Sacramento to likely go away from him with Marc Gasol as the matchup, though.
Lowry is scoring the ball like we haven’t seen in a long time, while Siakam is looking like a superstar in just his fourth season. The league’s Most Improved Player is already showing that he has added new elements to his game. The bench rotation has been slim with Norman Powell and Serge Ibaka getting the bulk of the minutes in reserve, with other players occasionally coming in for short stretches. It’s been nice to see OG Anunoby back and healthy again, contributing like he did pre-Kawhi.
The Raptors are a team that is always going to be a tough out, and thanks to the leadership of Gasol in the middle, they are ferocious on both ends.
Toronto Gets To 5-2
Another win is coming for the Raptors as Lowry and Siakam each drop 30.
Free Play: TOR -8
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