Fan Duel Toronto Raptors

Gameday: Hawks @ Raptors, December 15

Toronto trying to win sweep home set against Atlanta

The Toronto Raptors continue a four-game homestand when they take on the Atlanta Hawks for the second consecutive game, on Friday night.

In their last matchup on Wednesday, it was a battle of two teams in the midst of four-game losing streaks. The Raptors came out on top in that contest as they were able to hold on for a 135-128 victory, bringing their record to 10-14.

Atlanta entered the night with the league’s 27th-ranked defence and that looked evident as Toronto had their way offensively for a lot of the game. The Raps shot over 50 per cent from the field and distance, and all five starters scored 15+ points.

The trio of Pascal Siakam (33), Scottie Barnes (27) and OG Anunoby (22) combined for 82 points and 10 of the team’s 18 three-pointers made.

Hawks Scope

(9-14 | 11th in East | Offensive Rating: 118.5/5th| Defensive Rating: 119.5/27th)

On the other side, the Hawks, now losers of five in a row, simply couldn’t keep it together for four quarters. They looked impressive throughout the first half, even leading by as many as 12 points in the second. That was largely thanks to the stellar play of Trae Young who finished with 35 points and 17 rebounds.

The third quarter was the turning point for Atlanta as Toronto caught fire. The Raptors hit eight straight shots coming out of the break and drilled 9-of-12 threes as they outscored Atlanta by 10 in the frame.

Raptors Scope

(10-14 | 10th in East | Offensive Rating: 113.1/19th| Defensive Rating: 114.6/18th)

Contrary to how Toronto has opted to defend teams with high-powered stars in the past, it felt like the Raptors were okay with Young cooking, as long as they limited everybody else from getting into a groove. Opposite to their traditional approach of trying to lock up opposing stars and daring their teammates to win the game.

It’ll be interesting to see if the Raptors deploy the same strategy and if so, what adjustments the Hawks might make.

Whether Wednesday night’s performance was season-shifting for this otherwise middle-of-the-road Raptors team, or simply a case of making the most of a lackluster opponent, remains uncertain.

Either way, unless the Hawks learn to defend overnight, the Raptors should expect the same kind of opportunities, and hopefully the same kind of success.

Game info

Tip-Off: 7:30pm EST | TV: TSN | Radio: TSN Radio 1050

Raptors Lineup

PG: Dennis Schroder, Malachi Flynn

SG: Scottie Barnes, Gary Trent Jr., Gradey Dick

SF: O.G. Anunoby, Jalen McDaniels, Garrett Temple

PF: Pascal Siakam, Thaddeus Young

C: Jakob Poeltl, Precious Achiuwa

Inactives: Christian Koloko (respiratory), Javon Freeman-Liberty (two-way), Markquis Nowell (two-way), Jontay Porter (two-way)

Hawks Lineup

PG: Trae Young, Trent Forest, Patty Mills

SG: Dejounte Murray, Garrison Matthews, AJ Griffin

SF: Bogdan Bogdanovic, De’Andre Hunter (questionable), Wesley Matthews

PF: Onyeka Okongwu, Saddiq Bey

C: Clint Capela, Bruno Fernando

Inactives: AJ Griffin (personal), Kobe Bufkin (thumb), Jalen Johnson (wrist)

The line

The spread favours the Raptors by 2.5 points at home, with the money line set at -138 Toronto and +118 Atlanta.

Meanwhile, the over/under is set at 243.5. Their matchup two days ago ended up hitting 263 total points. (odds vs FanDuel).