The Toronto Raptors (28-11) have been one of the best teams in the NBA this season, not just in the Eastern Conference. But injuries to key players (i.e., Kyle Lowry and Jonas Valanciunas), have hurt. They did win their last time out, 122-116 over Utah, but it required a career night from Leonard (45 points).
They have gone 4-4 over their last eight games and have ranked 24th in offence and defence over that stretch (San Antonio ranked first and third respectively).
The San Antonio Spurs (21-17) had some early season struggles, but that is to be expected with eight new players on the roster. They appear to be getting closer and closer to getting on the same page having won ten of their last 13.
They beat the Celtics their last time out (on New Year’s Eve), 120-111.
Spread: Spurs by 1.5
With all the injuries the Raptors are dealing with right now, this one will not be as close as Toronto fans would like it to be. San Antonio will have no trouble covering the spread.
With Toronto being undermanned and the Spurs likely putting the clamp down on Kawhi Leonard, this one is not going to make the over. Take the under.
Money line: Raptors +100.00; Spurs -120.48
While Kawhi Leonard’s return to San Antonio may motivate the fans, it will not have an impact on either team. But injuries will have one. Leonard will try to be a one-man show, but Gregg Popovich will not allow it. Take San Antonio to win.