I was correct on my last Raptors free pick as the Bulls (-1.5) cruised to a 108-92 home victory over the Raptors on Friday. I am now 27-28 in Raptors free picks. This afternoon the 41-28 Toronto Raptors host the 14-55 New York Knicks.
(14-55) New York Knicks @ (41-28) Toronto Raptors
Probable starting line-ups:
New York – PG – Langston Galloway SG – Alexey Shved C – Louis Amundson SF – Lance Thomas PF – Andrea Bargnani
Toronto – PG – Greivis Vasquez SG – DeMar DeRozan C – Jonas Valanciunas SF – Terrence Ross PF – Amir Johnson
New York – PPG – Carmelo Anthony 24.2 RPG – Carmelo Anthony 6.6 APG – Jose Calderon 4.7
Toronto – PPG – DeMar DeRozan 19.2 RPG – Jonas Valanciunas 8.7 APG – Kyle Lowry 6.9
Team Scoring: (with league ranking in parentheses)
New York – PF – 92.3 (29th) PA – 101.2 (22nd)
Toronto – PF – 104.3 (5th) PA – 101.4 (23rd)
The New York Knicks have lost 2 in a row and 4 of their last 5 games. On Friday they were downed 97-81 at Philadelphia. Point guard Alexey Shved led the team in scoring with 25 points on 8 of 14 shooting in 35 minutes. He was 7 of 8 from the 3 point line. He also had 6 rebounds and 3 assists. Center Andrea Bargnani scored 17 points and grabbed 6 rebounds. He was 4 of 11 from the field and 9 of 10 from the free throw line in 27 minutes. Backup point guard Shane Larkin contributed with 13 points on 6 of 10 shooting in 33 reserve minutes. He also had 6 rebounds. Small forwards Lance Thomas and Quincy Acy each chipped in with 8 points. The team shot 36.2% from the field, 50% from the 3 point line (8-16), and 88.5% from the free throw line (23-26). They were dominated on the glass 49-37. After putting up 48 points in the 1st half the Knicks only managed to score 33 points in the 2nd half. New York is 5-31 on the road this season. Today is the 1st game of a back to back. They are 3-15 in the first game of a back to back so far this season. Tomorrow night they play at home versus the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Toronto Raptors have won 2 of their last 3 games. On Friday they were defeated 108-92 at Chicago. Shooting guard DeMar DeRozan led the team in scoring with 27 points on 8 of 14 shooting in 37 minutes. He was 3 of 3 from the 3 point line and 8 of 10 from the free throw line. He also had 7 rebounds and 3 assists. Backup power forward Patrick Patterson netted 17 points on 7 of 11 shooting in 25 minutes. He was 3 of 5 from the 3 point line. He also had 5 rebounds. Point guard Greivis Vasquez chipped in with 11 points on 5 of 15 shooting in 37 minutes. He also had 6 assists and 4 rebounds. Small forward Terrence Ross contributed with 9 points on 4 of 13 shooting in 32 minutes. Power forward Amir Johnson had 8 points, 5 assists, and 4 rebounds. He was 3 of 7 from the field in 26 minutes. The team shot 38% from the field, 40% from the 3 point line (10-25), and 84.6% from the free throw line (22-26). They were pounded on the boards by their opposition 47-36. The Raptors trailed 60-48 at the half. Toronto is 23-12 at home this season. Including today they play 4 of their next 5 games at home. Their next game is Tuesday at the Detroit Pistons.
Toronto leads the season series with New York 2-1. On December 14th the Raptors held on for a 95-90 overtime road win, on December 21st the Raptors scored a 118-108 home victory, and on February 28th the Knicks grabbed a 103-98 home win. Today is the final meeting of the season between the 2 teams.
The Knicks are just trying to finish their putrid season. The Raptors are battling the Bulls for the 3rd spot in the East. A game against a team like the Knicks is important for the Raptors to win, they must beat the lesser teams the rest of the way. Take the Raptors -12.5 (1.86) (Bet365)
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