Matchup: Toronto Raptors vs. Portland Trail Blazers
Records: Raptors (2-7), Trail Blazers (5-4)
Where to Watch
Date: Monday, Jan. 11
Time: 10:00 p.m. ET
TV: Sportsnet (Canada), NBC Sports Northwest and NBA League Pass (USA)
Location: Moda Center, Portland, Oregon
The eye test will tell you that the Raptors are looking more and more like themselves over the past few games, but that hasn't yet translated into wins. Toronto will look to close out their west coast road trip with a win over a Trail Blazers team who is slowly starting to figure it out themselves.
Historically, Toronto has fared well on back-to-backs. They haven't been swept in a back-to-back since Dec. of 2017 . Last season on the second half of a back-to-back the Raptors held a record of 8-3. When you add in their recent history and the way things ended in Golden State on Sunday night, it feels like the Raptors have some momentum heading into Portland despite the loss to the Warriors.
It's early but Fred VanVleet has been playing at an All-Star level. His averages of 22.1 points, 5.8 assists while shooting 46.3 from the field and 39.8 from 3 have been a bright spot for the Raps this season. But he's also doing it on the defensive end as well and he proved that Sunday night holding the explosive Stephen Curry to just five points in 29.6 partial possessions, according to NBA Stats . Curry was held to 11 points total while shooting just 12.5 percent from the field for the game. The Raptors will have to look to replicate that type of stingy defence on Monday against another dynamic point guard in Damian Lillard.
After struggling mightily in the first game of the year against Utah, Lillard is has been his All-Star self, but it's been CJ McCollum who has led the way for the Blazers. McCollum is averaging a career-high 27.9 points, 5.0 assists, 1.7 steals while shooting 47.1 percent from the field and 44.4 percent from long range. Toronto's backcourt will need to slow both of them down to close the road trip on a positive note.
• Patrick McCaw (Left Knee Surgery rehabilitation) - Out
No injured players
Raptors vs. Blazers Predictions
Kyle Irving ( @KyleIrv_ ): I'm going with the Toronto Raptors this time around. They showed signs of getting things back on track against the Sacramento Kings and were one shot away from consecutive wins for the first time this season when they fell to the Golden State Warriors. We've seen Pascal Siakam string together a couple of strong performances now and Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet matchup nicely with Portland's backcourt. While Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum will be a handful, I think the Raptors prevail to pick up their best win of the season.
Carlan Gay ( @TheCarlanGay ): Again, I was confident in saying that Toronto would go 3-2 on this five-game stretch beginning with the Boston game. They won't finish with that record but they've played much better basketball and seem to be getting their mojo back. That being said I see another loss coming to a well-rested Portland team . At some point, we're going to have to look at Nick Nurse's rotation and ask what he is doing?
Raptors vs. Trail Blazers: Betting odds, spread, over/under
Spread: Raptors +5.0 (-110), Blazers -5.0 (-110)
Raptors Moneyline: +175
Trail Blazers Moneyline: -200
Over/Under: 230.5 (-110)
*Odds courtesy of William Hill Sports Book
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