NBA Thursday Night Picks: Toronto Raptors at Golden State Warriors

Toronto at Golden St.

Time: 9:30 PM CST (TNT)

Spread: TOR -9.5

Total: 226.5

Odds c/o 5dimes

The Toronto Raptors have won six of its last 10 SU and is 20-9 on the road where it faces the Golden State Warriors in the second game of a Thursday night TNT doubleheader. The Raptors are 9.5-point favorites in the game with the betting total set at 226.5 total points according to NBA oddsmakers at 5dimes.

GOLDEN ST

The Golden State Warriors are just 14-48 on the season and in the last place in the Pacific division. It is, thus far, the worst team in the entire Association, in fact. The Warriors have lost eight of its last 10 overall SU. Stephen Curry nears closer to a return that probably should have just been delayed until next season. The Warriors are not in the chase.

This is an unfamiliar territory from a team that had boasted four All-Stars a season ago. Out is Kevin Durant, who signed with the Brooklyn Nets, while the Warriors are also without sharpshooter Klay Thompson. D’Angelo Russell was a dynamite scorer, but the Warriors are also without Stephen Curry for a long period this season due to an injured wrist. Draymond Green is the only one of the Warriors’ top-4 players from a year ago to suit up at this point.

Russell was ultimately dealt for swingman Andrew Wiggins. The jury will remain “out” on that trade for several seasons, but Wiggins is just 24-years-old and could fulfill his massive potential in a Warriors uniform once Curry and Thompson are back in tow.

The next on the list of active scorers though is rookie and second-round pick Eric Paschall. He has been impressive, almost like a more offensive (and of course less defensive), Draymond Green. Paschall is averaging 14.1 points, 4.5, and 1.8 assists per game.

Golden State scores just 106.3 per game. So, with a patched-up roster consisting of a lot of rookies, young talent, discarded reclamation projects (like Willie Cauley-Stein), the Warriors are simply not a team that stacks up to most of the other teams in the Association anymore.

TORONTO

The Toronto Raptors are 43-18 and won 123-114 over the Phoenix Suns last outing. Pascal Siakam has been on fire. Siakam has stepped into the role occupied by last year’s Final’s MVP Kawhi Leonard and allowed the Raptors to seamlessly progress as still true contenders. Siakam is averaging 23.7 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.4 assists and posting a PER of 19.39. Over his last 10 games, he has tallied 23.4 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 3.5 assists while shooting 49 percent from the field and 36 percent from three.

The biggest step up perhaps outside of Siakam has been the improvement of Fred VanVleet. The diminutive 2-guard has proven to be a gutsy and clutch shooter the Raptors can rely on for big scoring shares. VanVleet is the No. 3 scorer behind Siakam and Kyle Lowry, averaging 17.7 points and 6.7 assists per game while shooting 43 percent from the floor and 38.9 percent from three-point range.

Lowry is averaging 19.4 points and 7.7 assists. The Raptors have got strong play from Serge Ibaka, Norman Powell, and OG Anunoby, as well, in using its supreme depth to help overcome the loss of last year’s leader (Leonard). The Raptors still have the framework of a contending team and the defense to put a scare into any team in the league.

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