I was correct on my last Raptors prediction as the Pistons (+6) notched a 114-111 win at Toronto on Monday. I am now 14-11 in Raptors free picks. Tonight the 25-12 Raptors host the 7-30 Philadelphia 76ers.
(7-30) Philadelphia 76ers @ (25-12) Toronto Raptors
Probable starting line-ups:
Philadelphia – Point Guard – Michael Carter-Williams Shooting Guard – K.J. McDaniels C- Nerlens Noel Small Forward – Robert Covington Power Forward – L. Mbah a Moute
Toronto – PG – Kyle Lowry SG – Terrence Ross C – Jonas Valanciunas SF – James Johnson PF – Amir Johnson
Philadelphia – Points Per Game – Tony Wroten 16.9 Rebounds Per Game – Nerlens Noel 7.1 Assists Per Game – Michael Carter-Williams 7.3
Toronto – PPG – Kyle Lowry 20.4 RPG – Jonas Valanciunas 8.6 APG – Kyle Lowry 7.7
Team Scoring: (with league ranking in parentheses)
Philadelphia – Points For (Per Game) – 90.5 (30th) Points Against (Per Game) – 103.1 (24th)
Toronto – PF – 107.8 (3rd) PA – 101.9 (22nd)
The Philadelphia 76ers arrive for this evening’s match-up winners in 3 of their last 5 games after only winning 4 games in their first 32. Last night they were defeated 105-87 at home versus the Hawks. Point guard Michael Carter-Williams scored 20 points on 8 of 13 shooting in 30 minutes. He also had 9 rebounds and 4 assists. Shooting guard K.J. McDaniels scored 14 points on 5 of 9 shooting in 33 minutes. He also had 4 assists. Reserve small forward Jerami Grant chipped in with 13 points on 5 of 7 shooting in 21 minutes. Shooting guard Tony Wroten was the only other Sixer in double figures as he netted 10 points on 4 of 12 shooting in 21 minutes off the bench. The team shot 40.8% from the field, 36% from the 3 point line (9-25), and 64% from the free throw line (16-25). The team was out-rebounded 47-35. They scored less than 20 points in 2 of the 4 quarters. They were down 49-37 at the half. Philadelphia is 5-14 on the road this season. They are 3-5 in their last 8 road games. They have scored less than 100 points in 14 straight games. Tonight is the 2nd game of a back to back. They are 2-6 in the 2nd game of a back to back so far this season. Their next game is Friday at home versus New Orleans.
The Toronto Raptors have dropped 4 of their last 5 games. On Monday they suffered a 114-111 home loss versus Detroit. Center Jonas Valanciunas led the way with a double-double as he scored 31 points and pulled down 12 rebounds. He was 14 of 15 from the field in 36 minutes. Reserve point guard Greivis Vasquez scored 16 points on 7 of 9 shooting in 25 minutes. Shooting guard Louis Williams netted 15 points on 7 of 14 shooting in 24 minutes off the bench. Point guard Kyle Lowry chipped in with a double-double as he scored 10 points and dished out 12 assists. He also had 7 rebounds. He was 3 of 12 from the field in 33 minutes. Power forward Amir Johnson also had a double-double with 12 points and 10 boards. He also had 5 assists. He was 6 of 14 from the field in 30 minutes. The team shot 54% from the field, 25.9% from the 3 point line (7-27), and 71.4% from the foul line (10-14). The team was out-rebounded 46-42. The Raptors had a big 1st quarter as they out-scored the Pistons 32-20. But their downfall was the 3rd as they were out-scored 34-23. Toronto is 15-5 at home this season. They are 1-2 on their current 6 game home stand. Their next game is Friday at home versus the East-leading Hawks.
In their first meeting of the season Toronto crushed Philadelphia 120-88. The 2 teams play 2 more times this season, January 23rd at Philadelphia and March 2nd at Philadelphia.
The Raptors have not looked like the well-oiled machine that they looked like earlier in the season (with DeMar DeRozan) but they still lead their division by 9.5 games. Although the Sixers are 3-2 in their last 5 games they are still a train wreck overall. Perhaps their chemistry is better now as all their young guys adjust to playing in the league. I expect the Raptors to play with a little bit of anger tonight as they combat their recent struggles. Take the Raptors -16.5 (1.90) (Bet365)
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