A pair of teams coming off losses match up on Wednesday night when the Toronto Raptors visit the Charlotte Hornets. Toronto fell at home to Portland on Tuesday night, while Charlotte lost at home to Indiana on Monday.
What the Raptors have been doing this season has been completely unprecedented and insane on so many levels. They have been without Pascal Siakam and Marc Gasol for several weeks now and have not missed a step. Norman Powell has been out for just as long, but they just keep winning.
Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka missed three weeks earlier in the year with the team not missing a beat. And a lot of the guys playing have not had experience on winning teams, but they are all out there grinding. It’s truly magnificent.
Charlotte, on the other hand, has not exactly impressed this year, but it has certainly surprised. Many predicted the Hornets to finish at the bottom of the East, but they’re now sitting in the No. 9 spot. A playoff appearance would certainly be something for them, but James Borrego’s team has proven to be an intriguing watch on most nights.
Second-year guard Devonte Graham is torching the competition, with his backcourt mate Terry Rozier III also playing well here in his new home. If only they could defend better.
The spread for the game has Toronto favored by 2.5 points, while the over/under is set at 207.5 points.
Looking To Bounce Back
After being victim to a viral Jeremy Lin game-winner several years ago during Linsanity, the Raptors fell back into it Tuesday night when Carmelo Anthony sunk one with three seconds left. They still sit 11 games over .500 and fourth in the East despite many key players sitting out regularly with injury.
The fact about Tuesday night’s game is that Fred VanVleet was also out in addition to the others, and Toronto only lost by two. The depth of this team is tremendous, along with the player discipline within the system. He will not by any means win the award, but Nick Nurse needs to at least be a candidate for Coach of the Year again.
The most Raptors stat of the year is that undrafted rookie Terence Davis is the only one to play in every game for them. Lowry has been tremendous for them and is likely to draw an All-Star nod. They are unreal.
Hoping For Home Cooking
It has not been a great year for Charlotte, but it is still ahead of where it was predicted to be. The big key Wednesday night will be Graham. He is only shooting 39 percent from the floor, but he averages 19 points, four rebounds and eight assists and is a volume scorer.
Rozier averages 18 points, four rebounds and four assists, and the two of them play pretty well together. Rookie PJ Washington hits 40 percent of his threes, while 21-year-old Miles Bridges is proving his value. At 27, Bismack Biyombo is the Hornets’ oldest starter, as they have a very young roster. There is nowhere to go but up for this team as the players get more experience.
Malik Monk brings good energy off the bench, and he’ll be looking to do that again Wednesday night.
Raptors Win A Close One
Bank on Toronto to get the win, as it always finds a way to get it done.
Free Play: TOR -2.5
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