The NBA is filled with another action packed day on Saturday. Ten games will be up on the board throughout December 26. One of these games will be between the Toronto Raptors and the San Antonio Spurs. These two teams had opposite seasons last season, but will both look for a big win in this one. This game will tip off at around 8:30 PM Eastern time.
The Raptors took a tough loss in their first game of the season. Toronto finished out last season with a record of 53-19, which had them in second place of the Eastern Conference. The Raptors knocked off the Brooklyn Nets in their first round series, but lost to the Boston Celtics in seven games in round 2. Toronto will look to climb back to the top of the East this season, starting with a win on Saturday.
San Antonio earned a big win in their season opener on Wednesday. The Spurs finished out last season with a record of 32-39, which put them in eleventh place of the Western Conference. San Antonio had a chance to move on in the qualifiers, but struggled during the eight play in games. The Spurs will look to earn their second win of the season with a win on Saturday.
These two teams are both looking to compete in their respective conferences. Toronto lost in their opening night matchup, but the Spurs were able to knock off the Grizzlies. I expect both teams to try and control the pace early in this game as they look for a big win. If either team can put up a strong start, it could be enough to propel them to the win.
These two teams met up twice throughout last season. Toronto hosted the first game of the season series on January 12. Serge Ibaka dropped 21 points and 14 rebounds, while Norman Powell scored 20 points. DeMar DeRozan finished with 25 points against his former team. Rudy Gay dropped 15 points off the bench, while Derrick White added 13. San Antonio snuck away with a 105-104 win in this one.
The second game of the season series shifted to San Antonio. DeMar DeRozan and Derrick White both dropped 14 points on the night, but it was not enough. Pascal Siakam finished with 35 points and 8 rebounds. Kyle Lowry added another 16 points for the Raptors. Toronto was able to hold on in this one for a 110-106 win on the road.
The Raptors and the Spurs split the two game series at one a piece last season. Both games were tight finishes, which could lead to another good one in this one. The Raptors were the better team last season, but had a tough opening night performance. If Toronto can bounce back on Saturday night, I think that they could put up a much better performance against this Raptors squad.
Pascal Siakam had a good opening night performance for the Raptors. Siakam scored 20 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists on the night. Kyle Lowry finished with 18 points and 10 assists in the loss. Norman Powell and Chris Boucher both dropped 12 points on the night. Aron Baynes scored 11 points and 9 rebounds as well. Fred VanVleet only scored 9 points, which he will need to improve upon in this one.
DeMar DeRozan and Dejounte Murray both had big performances in the first game of the season. DeRozan finished with 28 points, 9 rebounds and 9 assists in the win. Murray dropped 21 points and 9 assists. LaMarcus Aldridge scored 20 points, while Lonnie Walker and Keldon Johnson both scored 16 points. Patty Mills added 13 points and Rudy Gay finished with 10 points of his own.
The Raptors will need much more out of VanVleet if they want to bounce back with a win in this one. VanVleet plays a key role in this offense and 9 points on 3-12 shooting is not enough. The Spurs had a nice plethora of scoring throughout their opening night matchup. If San Antonio’s offense can continue to score up and down the offense, they will be very hard to stop.
Field Goal Shooting
The Raptors were a solid shooting team throughout last season. Toronto made 45.8 percent of their shots from the field, which was 20th in the NBA. The Raptors also made 37.4 percent of their shots from deep, which was 5th in the league. Toronto shot 42.7 percent from the field and 30.4 percent from deep, which they will need to improve upon in this one.
San Antonio has been really strong when it comes to shooting. The Spurs made 47.2 percent of their shots from the field last season, which was 5th in the league. San Antonio also made 37.6 percent of their shots from deep last season, which was 4th in the NBA. The Spurs also made 50.5 percent of their shots from the field and 40 percent of their shots from behind the arc in their first game of the season.
The Spurs have been able to shoot well over the last couple of seasons because of the way the spread the floor. San Antonio does a great job moving the ball to open up shots for their players. Toronto will need to clog up the passing lanes if they want to shut down the Spurs offense. If the Raptors can move the ball well on their side of the court, they could improve their shooting percentage as well.
These two teams will both look to earn a big win in their first meeting of the season. The Spurs and the Raptors both met up twice last season, with each team winning on the road. Toronto will look to repeat that magic with a win in this one. Toronto lost to the Magic in their first game of the season and I expect them to come out much quicker in this on as they look to avoid a 0-2 record to open the season.
BetOnline has the Raptors listed as a -1 against the spread. This gives a solid edge to Toronto on the road in this one. I agree with this line as Toronto was the better team last season. The Raptors still remain a strong team in the Eastern Conference, which should show in this one. The Spurs are on a downwards slope after finally missing the postseason in their last campaign. I expect Toronto to come out stronger in this one looking for a win.