NBA Odds & Predictions: Brooklyn Nets at Toronto Raptors Friday February 11th, 2019
Two of NBA’s Hottest and Marquee Teams Meet with Oklahoma City Visiting Houston
The Brooklyn Nets were looking like the surprise team of the season, riding a hot wave into the 6th seed in the Eastern Conference. They are still in that spot, but have also lost four of their last five games, falling down to Earth a bit.
They’ll face a Toronto Raptors team that made a big trade at the deadline to help keep pace with the big boys of the East.
That acquisition was bringing center Marc Gasol over from the Grizzlies for Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright and CJ Miles. Gasol is 34 years old, put he’s still an above average defender and can hit from long range as well. He should be a marked improvement over Valanciunas, but he’s also been the unquestioned number one on his team for a long time. The Raptors have Serge Ibaka in that position, so finding the right chemistry here could be a work in progress.
Gasol made his debut on Saturday night in the team’s 105-99 win over the Knicks and he played 19 minutes, scoring 7 points and adding 6 rebounds.
Six players scored in double digits led by Kyle Lowry who put up 22 points. Ibaka finished up with 15 points and 13 rebounds and the team did just enough to fight off a terrible Knicks team.
Brooklyn was four games above .500 when this slump began. They went on a 10-2 run that included wins over Boston, Houston and Sacramento. Their only losses in that period were one to Boston and another to Toronto.
In their last five games, their only win came against Denver. They have defeats to San Antonio, Orlando, Milwaukee and most recently Chicago.
The Bulls beat them convincingly, 125-106. In fact, three of the four most recent losses have been by 19 or more. That speaks to a young team learning to deal with their success. Fatigue can also play a factor at this time of year with the All-Star break coming this weekend. Now we’ll see if they can get there on rocket fuel or if they’ll be sputtering to the finish line.
Toronto is 8-1 at home in the new year, averaging 114.7 PPG and allowing 104.4 PPG. They are hard to beat on their home court and I think they should be able to control this game. The Nets are 4-5 on the road in the same period averaging 110.6 PPG and allowing 114.0 PPG. The Pick: Raptors 118-108.