Barring major injury to either side, it appears as if Toronto will finish either first or second in the Eastern Conference standings and that Brooklyn will slot in sixth, seventh or eighth. Thus, the franchises could meet in the post-season for the first time since 2014 when Toronto was upset in a seven-game first-round series.
Brooklyn already has surpassed its win total from each of the past three seasons, and Kenny Atkinson is a favourite for NBA Coach of the Year.
NBA Point Spread and Betting Analysis
It’s the third of four regular-season meetings, with Toronto visiting Brooklyn on April 3. They have split, with the Raptors losing 106-105 in overtime at the Nets on Dec. 7 when Brooklyn entered on an eight-game losing streak. Really, that was the turnaround point of the season for that franchise. The Raptors had won 12 straight in the series. They did win at home on Jan. 11, 122-105.
Kawhi Leonard is averaging 26.0 points and 7.0 rebounds in the two. Pascal Siakam 16.0 points and 6.5 rebounds. All-Star guard D’Angelo Russell is averaging 26.5 points, 7.0 assists and 4.5 rebounds against Toronto.
The Raptors are 6-4 ATS in the past 10 home meetings (9-1 SU).
Brooklyn comes off a 125-106 home upset loss to Chicago on Friday and has dropped five of seven overall. One major bright spot from that defeat was the return of perhaps the team’s best all-around player, guard Caris LeVert. He had been out since Nov. 12 with a foot injury and had 11 points, five steals and four assists in 15 minutes. LeVert’s minutes will be managed for a while. The team remains without guard Spencer Dinwiddie (thumb surgery) and forward Jared Dudley (hamstring strain).
Forward and ex-Raptor DeMarre Carroll is questionable Monday with knee soreness. He did play Friday and is averaging 11.1 points and 5.1 rebounds on the season. The Nets have failed to cover their past four vs. Eastern Conference teams.
This starts a six-game homestand for Toronto – split up by the All-Star break — and it should be solidly favoured to win them all other than perhaps Feb. 26 vs. Boston. Toronto won its fourth in a row Saturday, 104-99 at the awful Knicks. In his Raptors debut, Marc Gasol had seven points, six rebounds and two steals in 19 minutes off the bench. That was one main question following the deal: Would Gasol start at centre and shift Serge Ibaka to power forward or would Gasol be fine as a reserve? Apparently have the answer. Ibaka is playing too well to mess with his role, and he had 15 points and 13 rebounds vs. New York.
After sitting Friday, Leonard played vs. the Knicks and had 11 points and six assists. He’s in a bit of a shooting funk of late. The Raptors are 5-2 ATS in their past seven after a win.