The Brooklyn Nets and Toronto Raptors are scheduled to meet at Amalie Arena on Tuesday night. The Raptors are on a back-to-back after a 112-96 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers last night. It was a textbook win for the Raptors, as they won their fifth game in the last six games. Pascal Siakam had a big performance with 25 points and 5 rebounds to lead the Raptors.
OG Anunoby chipped in with 20 points and 5 boards to help give the Raptors a boost to get into the play-in tournament. Instead of going the tanking route, the Raptors look motivated to continue to play basketball after the regular season. I don’t think tanking is in the DNA of Kyle Lowry, so his return to the lineup certainly has something to do with the Raptors playing better basketball.
It’s also important to note that Aron Baynes, who was a huge liability for the Raptors at center, has been benched on the boss and replaced with Khem Birch. Baynes has done nothing but hurt the Raptors instead of help. Birch was there after the Orlando Magic released him to give him a chance to play elsewhere. They just didn’t have a spot for him on their roster. The Canadian landed with the Raptors and has instantly given the Raptors a jump.
Birch contributed with 14 points and 6 rebounds in the win last night against the Cavaliers. The Raptors are going into Tuesday night with a record of 26-35. They’re a game behind the Washington Wizards for the tenth and final seed. Along with the Wizards, the Raptors have to deal with the Chicago Bulls who are tied with the Raptors at 26-35 and a game out of the play-in tournament. It’s going to be tight, but the Raptors are playing with a lot of confidence.
The Nets are coming off a solid performance against the Phoenix Suns on Sunday. They cleared the Suns for a 128-119 win. With Kevin Durant back on the floor, the Nets are a team look out for once again. James Harden is not active, but the Nets still have Durant and Kyrie Irving together. The Nets are on a two-game winning streak, which includes a 109-104 win over the Boston Celtics on Friday. Head below for our free Nets vs. Raptors pick on April 27, 2021.
Brooklyn Nets vs. Toronto Raptors NBA Betting Odds:
Nets vs. Raptors Prediction:
The Nets can be the top team in the Eastern Conference, but for that to happen, everything must come together for them at the right time. Everyone automatically had this team going to the NBA Finals after they signed James Harden. That’s not how it works, especially in a locker room that includes these three personalities. And Kevin Durant knows all about how injuries can derail a team.
In any case, the Nets lead the NBA with a field goal percentage of 49.4% and second with an average of 118.8 points scored per game. The Nets can score from all over the floor, including from three where they’re connecting at a 38.9% clip. A healthy Durant on the court only helps elevate the offense to the next level for the Nets. The win against the Suns was a good sign for the Nets. They needed a win over a marquee opponent to get some confidence back.
Going on the road and scoring has not been a problem for the Nets. In fact, they’ve been slightly better with 119.6 points scored per game. In their last trip on the road, which happened to be to Toronto, that certainly wasn’t the case last week on Wednesday. The Nets scored 103 points in a 114-103 points against the home underdogs. Note that Durant had not returned to the lineup at that point.
With Durant back on the floor this time around, expect the Nets to put a better performance together. Oddsmakers had the Nets as a 6.5-point favorite in that game as well. Now with Durant back, the Nets are the same, which I think is providing us with some value. The Raptors have been playing better basketball as of late, coinciding with the return of Kyle Lowry to the lineup.
They’ve notched 110.8 points and allowed just 105.4 points per game in their last five outings. On a back-to-back, I don’t have confidence that they’re going to be able to keep up with the Nets, though. Look for this one to be a close game for two or three quarters before the Nets open things up. Chasing around Durant after playing last night shouldn’t be fun. A 9-12 point win for the Nets looks accurate.