13 Mar Raptors look for win #50 in Brooklyn
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By: Josh Weinstein
Morale is as high as it has ever been in Raptorland of late. The team is on an eight-game winning streak, the second-seeded Celtics continue to fall further behind Toronto for first place in the standings, and DeMar DeRozan just took home his fifth Player of the Week honour of the 2017-18 season. What could possibly make matters even sweeter? Reaching the 50-win plateau the earliest in a season in franchise history, of course.
The Raptors have been averaging a not-so-shabby 114 points per game while holding opponents to just 101 points a night during their eight-game winning streak. Toronto’s dominance since the streak began has played a vital role in helping the team own the second-highest average point differential this season so far at +8.8, which trails top-ranked Houston by just 0.1.
With the way Toronto has been playing of late, it’s hard to predict when the team’s winning streak could come to an end. The Raptors next three matchups against the Brooklyn Nets, Indiana Pacers, and Dallas Mavericks are all very winnable, so the streak could potentially reach double-digits before an anticipated meeting with the Oklahoma City Thunder this coming Sunday.
Up until the start of 2018, the Nets did a great job of outplaying expectations by remaining in what I like to call the Eastern Conference’s ‘no man’s land’; Brooklyn boasted too depleted a roster to actually have a chance at contention, but also one that wasn’t quite bad enough to lose out and free-fall down the standings. Since then, though, it’s fair to say the Nets lack of talent caught up to them big-time. Kenny Atkinson’s team has lost 13 0f its past 15 games and finds itself just one loss away from being tied for dead-last in the conference standings. What’s troubling for Brooklyn is that with every mounting loss, the team’s 2018 first-round draft pick, which is owed to Cleveland, grows in value.
Watchability Ranking – 7/10
If you like watching history, then this could be the game for you, so long as the Raptors are able to emerge from Brooklyn with a 50th win. As for quality of competition, the Raptors are a far better basketball team than the Nets, meaning Toronto could be in for another double-digit victory.
Tip-off of this lopsided affair is set for 7:30 PM ET.