Fan Duel Toronto Raptors

Morning Coffee – Sat, Dec 1

Raptors face Cavs, Warriors conquest still in the air.

Game Preview: Raptors vs Cavs | Toronto Raptors

Bright lights: Toronto had its most-hyped game so far this season on Thursday night. With a nationally-televised TNT game, an influx of media present, and the Golden State Warriors in town, the Raptors prevailed in overtime, earning a 131-128 victory to move to 19-4 on the season. Kawhi Leonard scored a season-high 37 points and Pascal Siakam set another new career-high with 26 points. Toronto overcame a 51-point explosion from Kevin Durant in the win as six Raptors scored in double figures. The Cavaliers enter Saturday’s game after a 128-95 road loss to the Boston Celtics on Friday.

Seven straight: Thursday’s overtime victory against the Golden State Warriors was Toronto’s seventh consecutive victory. This is the team’s longest winning streak of the year after three separate six-game winning streaks already this season. The win on Thursday was Toronto’s 12th in the month of November, a new franchise high for wins in November, a record previously set during the 2014-15 season. If the Raptors earn a win in Cleveland, it will be the fastest the franchise has ever reached 20 wins in a season.

Thursday night's Raptors-Warriors game sets T.V. viewership record |

In addition to the record-breaking audience in Canada, the game was broadcast nationally in America on TNT – one of the Raptors’ 27 games this season that will be broadcast to a national TV audience in the United States.

Viewers witnessed an early candidate for game of the year, as Toronto held off the defending champions despite 51 points from back-to-back NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant. The difference Thursday, as indicated by Lewenberg, is that the Raptors now have a Finals MVP of their own in the fold – 2014 NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard.

In the win over Golden State, Leonard led Toronto with 37 points (on 14-for-24 shooting), eight rebounds, three assists and a steal. Although Durant finished with a season-high in points, Leonard’s all-league calibre defence made things difficult for the Warriors’ All-Star.

Warriors vs. Raptors: A night in the NBA golden age |

More than anything, Warriors-Raptors was a reminder that the NBA has never been better than it is right now. There has never been this much talent all over the league, the style is wide-open, highlights are readily available all over the world, and every few days there’s a new performance that will baffle anyone who’s paying attention. To wit: Steph Curry was going for 51 of his own a few weeks ago. Shortly thereafter, Jamal Murray was taking over the fourth quarter and dropping 48 to beat the Celtics. Then Kyrie Irving and that Boston team went to overtime to beat the Raptors on national TV. Jimmy Butler showed up in Philly to hit game-winners. Joel Embiid is playing the entire season like Shaq. Kemba Walker has been out of his mind for roughly seven weeks now. Damian Lillard hit 10 threes on Wednesday night. Durant has averaged 48 points over his last three games. Somewhere in the middle of it all, Giannis Antetokounmpo is the MVP and the Raptors are on pace to win 68 games.

Saturday NBA preview: Toronto Raptors at Cleveland Cavaliers | The Star

With Kyle Korver traded to Utah this week, J.R. Smith away from the team awaiting a trade and Kevin Love still injured and out for weeks, these are definitely not your LeBron James Cavaliers … That said, they did post back-to-back wins over Philadelphia and Houston last weekend and can’t be taken for granted … It’s their second meeting of the season. Toronto opened the schedule with a 116-104 victory over Cleveland … The Raptors have lost their last two regular-season games in Cleveland.

Tom Mayenknecht: Raptors are on a tear with Leonard leading the way | The Province

At 19-4, the Toronto Raptors have the best record in the NBA. After consecutive 50-win-plus campaigns, the Raptors are on pace to an impressive 67-win regular season that would be among the best in league history. They have the makeup to pair up with the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals. And those talking points are precisely why Raptors president Masai Ujiri and general manager Bobby Webster pressed the button on the high-risk, high reward trade of DeMar DeRozan to San Antonio for NBA superstar Kawhi Leonard. So far, so good, even if there is no guarantee that Leonard will be in Toronto for more than one season.

Meanwhile, the Maple Leafs are making Toronto equally bullish on the NHL stock market. Even with Austen Matthews missing most of November due to injury and not having William Nylander signed, the Leafs go into the weekend with a top-three NHL record of 18-8. Also bullish among Canadian-based NHL teams are the Winnipeg Jets and the Calgary Flames, both joining the Leafs in current playoff position.

Woz Blog: Reactions and reflections from an absolutely classic Raptors vs. Warriors game | Winnipeg Sun

“Just make it.’ That’s the only thing I was thinking about. Just go through my routine and just try to knock it down,” Siakam said when I asked him about nerves since he had not been in that position before.

Siakam was never a terrible free throw shooter, (he shot a combined 71% while at New Mexico State and 69 and 62% in his first two seasons with the Raptors) but he wasn’t a good one either. But he went 7-for-8 against the Warriors, is up to 78% on the year and hit 82% of his free throws in November, including 25 of his past 30.

Siakam said he worked extremely hard on his free throws in the summer, joking he’d get up 1,000 a day, before correcting himself and saying it was a more reasonable number He also keyed on three-point attempts in the off-season and is up to 37% from beyond the arc following a brutal start to the year from deep.

In short, if Siakam isn’t the NBA’s most improved player, we want a recount.

Siakam is honest too. On what can be done to slow down the great Durant: “I don’t know what you can do,” Siakam said. “He’s making shots from the logo and all that, so it’s tough.” Kyle Lowry made a bad decision late, turning down an open three-pointer at a time where he needs to step up and be aggressive (when Leonard is being double or triple-teamed, one of the NBA’s premier outside shooters needs to search out his shot). Lowry knew it. He whipped the ball against the stanchion when the play went down to the other end.

ESPN Goes All-In for Toronto All-Access on December 5 – ESPN MediaZone U.S.

ESPN today announced that its special “All-Access” content initiative is returning on Wednesday, Dec. 5 for a full day of coverage dedicated to the Toronto Raptors, who currently hold the NBA’s best record. The initiative is called Toronto All-Access, and it will feature exclusive Raptors content across ESPN platforms throughout the day, culminating with a prime-time national telecast of the Raptors vs. Philadelphia 76ers at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN. Mike Breen, analyst Doris Burke and reporter Tom Rinaldi will provide commentary for the game.

Toronto All-Access coverage on Dec. 5 will start on ESPN Radio’s Golic & Wingo in the 6 a.m. hour and continuing through ESPN’s late-night SportsCenter shows. Other contributing platforms include The Jump, NBA Countdown, Get Up!, First Take, all editions of SportsCenter, and more.

Mark Gross, ESPN senior vice president, production:

“The Toronto All-Access initiative provides us with an opportunity to document a day in the life of the Toronto Raptors organization through exclusive access, compelling interviews with Raptors personnel and behind-the-scenes footage across our vast amount of platforms. Through the work of our top commentators and producers, we’re aiming to tell this team’s story with a level of focus and depth that hasn’t been done before.”

NBA Eastern Conference power rankings: Where would Sixers be without Jimmy Butler's game-winners? | NBC Sports Philadelphia

Toronto survived Kevin Durant’s 51 points and clutch shot-making to beat the Warriors in overtime Thursday night. Yes, the Warriors were without Stephen Curry, but that’s a great win for the Raptors. By net rating, the Raptors have the six best two-man lineups in the NBA.