Toronto Raptors game previews between December 19 and December 25, including games against: Brooklyn Nets, Utah Jazz.
As we enter the latter half of December, the Raptors are beginning to pick up some steam. They've won 11 of their last 13, with the two losses coming at the hands of the Cavs and the Hawks, both by narrow margins.
Despite these subtle lapses, the Raps' have been playing some great basketball as of late. Lowry, especially, has been on absolute fire these past weeks, hitting 3's at a 60% rate from November 26th, up until this week. It's been truly amazing to witness.
With only two games this week, the Raptors will once again be spared from having to play on Christmas this year. With the Nets on Tuesday, and the Jazz on Friday, the Raps' will be getting five days off, and hopefully, they should be able to keep their hot streak alive.
Tuesday, 20 December 2016 at 07:30 PM ET Home
In their first meeting this year, it will be a matchup between the second best, and second worst teams in the East. Despite Brooklyn ushering the Raptors out of the first round of the 2014 NBA playoffs, there really isn't any bad blood between the two teams anymore. Since that season, only one player has remained on that team; Brook Lopez.
There will be some familiar faces in the black and white jerseys, however, Luis Scola signed a 1-year $5.5 Million dollar deal with them, and has been coming off the bench, averaging about 13 minutes for them. Another familiar face is Anthony Bennett.
On a personal note, I want this guy to make a good career for himself, so bad. I remember the first sports article I ever wrote, was around November last year. Anthony Bennett signed with the Raptors, and I was so excited. I thought he was going to resurrect his prematurely dead career and make a name for himself, other than being known as a bust. I was wrong. But, I can say that he is one guy that I will always root for when I watch him play. Being a Canadian kid, and having to go through what he's gone through, I wouldn't wish it upon anyone. He was (is) a kid, after all.
Besides that, this is a pretty bad Nets team. Having Jeremy Lin (another one of my favorites) back from injury will definitely help, but they are simply spread way too thin when you go to the bench. This won't be a close game, and I expect the Raptors to take the lead early, and never give it up.
The main matchup to watch in this one will be JV and Brook. JV will have his hands full with Brook, especially when he has the ball in his hands on the low block. Brook will also be playing with a newfound sense of energy, due to his newfound commitment to Christ.
He's not actually religious, but he did get baptized last week.
Toronto 128 - 115 Brooklyn
Friday, 23 December 2016 at 09:00 PM ET Away
Following Tuesday's showdown with the Nets, the Raps will get a couple (needed) days off, then they're off to Utah for their first of two meetings with the Jazz. This Utah team is really, really good. They've escaped that tier of being "scary" (Timberwolves, Lakers, Bucks), and are now simply a good team. What I like most about them, is how deep they are. When you go down their bench, they seem to have valuable weapons at almost every position.
This should be a great game, and it will be a great way to lead the way into the Christmas break. The Jazz can be a tough matchup for anyone, and they come to play every night. They're well coached, they work their butts' off, and they have a lot of different ways to attack you, and stop you on either ends.
All this being said, I still believe that Toronto will finish on top. It will be a close game, but with a couple days of rest, the red-hot Raptors should be able to grab this win, going into the Christmas weekend.
Have a safe, and happy holiday everyone. Be sure to spend as much time you can with your family, but find a way to catch Dubs and Cavs on Christmas day - if you can.
Toronto 105 - 99 Utah