After a great All-Star break, the second half of the 2014-2015 NBA season is well underway and no one is more excited than Toronto. There are many rivalries back in action this weekend, plenty games out there for the bettor to get their bets on especially if you’re a Raptors fan.
The game that deserves all your attention Saturday night is the Toronto vs. Houston showdown happening in Houston. Coming off an intense win against the impressive Atlanta Hawks, a 105-80 beatdown over the best team in the East, the Raps are now on a high speed road trip, where they will try to knock off both championship contenders and division rivals. No one is safe it seems from Toronto’s confident play and energy.
The Raptors proved GM Masai Ujiri right for being so confident in his team, as they stood pat on the busiest trade deadline in league history. Not a move was made because of management’s confidence in the way the team’s top players are jelling. They are proving time and again they deserve to be on the floor. They are getting into the groove at the right time, and their clutch play against strong teams is setting the tone. Toronto has now extended their win streak going for 6 against the Rockets.
The Raps headed into the All-Star break with its three-game winning streak when they pushed past the Washington Wizards, 95-93, on February 11. DeMar DeRozan scored 23 points, including the crucial game-winning basket with 12 seconds left to send the Raptors into second place in the Eastern Conference standings. As of today they have an impressive 37-17 record and are atop the Atlantic division standings and will try to sustain their momentum when they square off with the red-hot teams like the Mavs and the Warriors. They are playing with more urgency and energy than seen all season long, forcing opponents to turnover and then capitalizing on them in transition.
The Raptors under great coaching are finding ways to win in tough situations against tough teams. Their upcoming games should prove a real test as they play Dallas again and New Orleans in a back to back. So far, in 54 games this season, the Raps have blown away expectations and have added tons of new fans who love watching this exciting team rack up memorable wins against elite clubs, their most recent, beating the defending champion San Antonio Spurs on the road before the all-star weekend.
Here’s how we expect their week to turn out:
Toronto Raptors @ Houston
The hot streak after beating the best team in the East should leak over into this game, and will get the Rap the win.
Our Pick: Toronto over Rockets
Toronto Raptors @ New Orleans – Monday 23rd
The Pelicans will prove a well matched opponent, and as hot as they are, we think New Orleans has their number.
Our Pick: New Orleans over Toronto
Toronto Raptors @ Dallas Mavericks
The last time they met, the game was intense and fast paced, and it seems as if the Raps know how to work this team over.
Our Pick: Toronto over Dallas in OT
Golden State Warriors @ Toronto Raptors
The last time they met, GA blew the Raps out, expect a tighter game with the same losing result.
Our Pick: GS over Toronto