Raptors discipline will give them the win tonight. Both on offense and defense, Raptors play with a nice structure both sides of the ball and with no stress. Gasol have given this team a calm, his experience and passing ability gives the Raptors a new dimention as they don't really have another playmaker outside of Lowry. Siakam has really stepped up and taken over the role of the number one guy for this team and he has done a good job, preivous matchup with the Pelicans he had 36 and 18 and I can see a identical statline tonight. SIakam lives in the paint and that's where the Pelicans are the weakest, he can step out to the three point line but his game is in the paint where he can start his dribble at the elbow and drive in for easy points. Even though Favors will be back in the starting lineup he can stop Pascal from getting to his spots + he's not a rim protector.
Toronto has other good matchups against this Pelicans team, both in the halfcourt and in fastbreaks and it's here Raptors need to take advantage everytime. Pelicans are at the bottom in fastbreak points in the league. Easy points everytime down the floor needs to be the focus and if they can lockdown Ingram a bit they will have a good lead coming into the 4th Q.
Raptors like said have a good team that works for eachother, Siakam is the number one guy on the team and will have a lot of opportunities to the ball in the hoop but other players will have their aswell. Van Vleet has looked good togheter with Lowry in the backcourt and even though Pelicans have a good on ball defender backcourt I still think they will have a good game.
New Orleans Pelicans
Pelicans is the worse team in the league right now and it's all because of their defense, it's nonexistent. Ball and Holiday are good onball defenders but the rest of the team is not on their level, they don't really have a rim protector either and that's why it so hard for them to keep the numbers down. Offensivley they need to do such a good job to compensate and keep up with the other team and it's a heavy workload when you can't get stops. Basketball is all about stops and runs and the Pelicans haven't figured it out yet. Previous game against the Nets they scored 125 points and Ingram had 40 points and they still lost by 10...That can't happen. Pels need to tighten up the defense if they want to win anything this season.
Brandon Ingram, who has looked really good but he has the ball a majority of the time and gets the most shots up in team so it's maybe not that wierd. I personally like BI and hope he can continue producing like he has. Other players that have not done as well is JJ Redick, he will be out tonight, he has had it rough and his shooting has not been like it use to at the moment. The bench has sufferd a bit because of that and Pelicans haven't had that boost they wanted even if Josh Hart has looked decent. Jahlil Okafor has been good when hes gotten the chance and it's excting to see what he can do. The biggest problem for the bench is like the starting five, zero defense.
Raptors to me is a couple of levels above the Pels. Pelicans defense is equel to zero and they really need to think about if thats the right way to play in the NBA as the don't have enough firepower offensivley to stck around in games.
I want to see Siakam keep going like he has, he has the capacity to score 35-40 points on this team and if he can get going from three point range he can throw in some pump fakes and get by for easy buckets at the basket.
My tip for tonight is Raptors -2.5 @1,95 at Coolbet. Even if Toronto is away from home they have more talent and a better matchup then the Pels and if they can play good defene and get stops it will be a relativly easy game for them.