Toronto Raptors look to regain top spot in the Eastern Conference

SportsBlenderNBA Tue, 22 Jan 2019

Related Tags: The Toronto Raptors   

Toronto Raptors

The Toronto Raptors have been going toe to toe with the Milwaukee Bucks all season for top spot in the Eastern Conference. They enter Tuesday's game against the Kings with a 35-13 record and 20-4 at home. The Kings are out of the playoff picture at the moment, at 24-23 and 10-13 on the road.

Taking a closer look at the match up, the Raptors are 8-2 over their last ten, while the Kings are even at 5-5 during the same stretch. Toronto is in the top ten in scoring, fewest points allowed and turnovers, but are a mediocre 17th in rebounding. The Kings are among the worst defensive teams in the NBA and in the bottom third in rebounding.  Combine that with a middle of the road offense and their sub .500 record is justified.

The Kings are a good three-point shooting team lead by Buddy Hield at 46 percent. He's averaging a team high 20.5 points per game. Nenanja Bjelica adds ten per night on 42 percent from beyond the arc. De'Aaron Fox has been the most complete player, averaging 17.6 pints, 7.3 assists and 37 percent from long range. Bogan Bogdanovic (15.2 points) and Willie Cauley-Stein (13.4 points and 8.9 rebounds) round out a solid unit.

Clearly the Raptors have one of the deepest teams in the NBA, having seven players averaging in double digit scoring. They are lead by Kawhi Leonard, who averages 28 points and eight rebounds per game, while posing a threat from three-point range. Serge Ibaka will give the Kings trouble underneath, providing a workmanlike 18 points and seven rebounds per game.  Kyle Lowry is the floor general who dishes 9.4 assists per game, while Danny Green is another three-point threat at 42 percent.

There are really no answers to stop all the weapons that the Raptors have, which is why they are one of the best teams in the NBA more than half way through the season. Sacramento is a solid team, but on the road the should be no match for Toronto. The Raptors will win to keep the heat on the Bucks heading closer to the all-star break.

Click here for more about The Toronto Raptors