Matchup: Toronto Raptors vs. Houston Rockets
Records: Raptors (17-25), Rockets (11-30)
Where to Watch
Date: Monday, March 22
Time: 9:00 p.m. ET
Location: Toyota Center, Houston, TX
The last time the Raptors won a game, they defeated the Rockets. Toronto will look to sweep the season series on Monday and put an end to a dreadful eight-game losing skid.
The Raptors are finally healthy and have their full complement of players and coaches as they head into Houston, but with Thursday's 3:00 p.m. trade deadline looming, the team will be inundated with rumours over the next couple of days.
Historically, the Raptors have been able to block out the noise surrounding the team and potential trades, but this time around they haven't had the luxury of winning games to quiet it. It seems with every loss, the pressure mounts to decide on what to do with the current roster.
The local reports have leaned towards Kyle Lowry staying put with the Raptors at least until the end of the year, while the American media continues to report that rival teams are interested in working towards a deal for Lowry. What ends up happening with Lowry is anyone's guess but his name will be heard over and over heading into Thursday afternoon. Norman Powell, who is playing the best basketball of his life, will also be a topic of discussion around the trade deadline.
ESPN's Zach Lowe reported that Powell could command around $20 million per season if he hits free agency this summer. Would Toronto want to commit that much to Powell? So many questions to answer ... and they still have to play games.
Luckily, the Raptors head to Houston, where wins have been easy to come by lately. The Rockets are now on a 20-game losing streak - eight losses away from tying the longest losing streak in NBA history, which was set by the Philadelphia 76ers in 2016.
One bright spot for Houston has been the play of Christian Wood. Wood is possibly the front-runner for the league's Most Improved Player award and is a joy to watch. He's averaging 22.0 points, 10.1 rebounds and 1.6 blocks while shooting 56.3 percent from the field and 39.8 percent from 3-point range in 20 contests this year. Raptors fans will get a chance to see Wood for the first time this season as he missed the previous matchup with an injury. Wood will certainly test Toronto's frontcourt players.
Raptors vs. Rockets: Betting odds, spread, over/under
Spread: Raptors -8.5 (-110), Rockets +8.5 (-110)
Raptors Money line: -380
Rockets Money line: +310
Over/under: 223.0 (-110)
*Odds courtesy of William Hill Sports Book
David Nwaba - Out (wrist)
D.J. Augustin - Day-to-day (illness)
Eric Gordon - Out (groin)
Dante Exum - Out (calf)
OG Anunoby - Out (rest)
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