Toronto is in the midst of a surprising three-game skid, coming on the heels of them winning 16 of 17 overall. They have been without Fred VanVleet, who they have clearly been missing in the lineup while he has been gone.
Norman Powell is back and scoring big numbers whenever he is in the starting lineup, but it is not quite the same. They have also been playing Rondae Hollis-Jefferson at center with both Gasol and Ibaka out. They can only do so much with the top guns not around.
Phoenix, on the other hand, is in the midst of another skid, the news of losing Kelly Oubre to a torn meniscus last week very tough to take with the type of season he has had. There is an outside chance that he has played his last game for the franchise, given that he was on the trading block and almost moved at the deadline.
It would not be the most shocking thing if he was sent to Detroit as part of a big haul for Luke Kennard, but it would also be disappointing to see him leave a great situation for him.
The spread for tonight’s game favors Toronto by 3.5 points. Their moneyline is -158 while it’s +134 for Phoenix.
Toronto looking to break through
They will still be without Marc Gasol tonight, with VanVleet and Ibaka both listed as questionable, giving them a shot to come back from their injuries. It is clear how much their value and production on both sides of the floor have been missed, as both are not easily replaceable.
The ultimate goal for this team would be to repeat as champs, and if they somehow pulled it off, it may be the most impressive championship repeat we have ever seen. They lost their best player from last year and have dealt with injuries to 4/5 starters.
This is a night where they could use a big Kyle Lowry performance. OG Anunoby as well, who managed to drop 32 in the team’s defeat against the red-hot Nuggets.
Suns looking for success on their home floor
It’s been a great season for Devin Booker once again, averaging 26 points while shooting nearly 49% from the floor. Ricky Rubio has proven again that he is one of the game’s best passers. DeAndre Ayton is filling up the stat sheet every night. But the wins are just not coming consistently.
They will be better next year, but still, seeing the improvement under Monty Williams that other coaches didn’t show is a wonderful sight to behold. Look for a solid performance from lottery pick Cam Johnson, who turns 24 tonight (happy birthday).
If Ibaka can’t go, Ayton will have a chance to dominate inside, and they should take advantage of each and every opportunity.
Raptors win it away from home
Playing in the valley, Toronto will be able to rediscover some rhythm tonight. Make sure to bet on them.
Free Play: TOR -3.5
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