NBA Betting – Cleveland Cavaliers at Toronto Raptors
Zack GarrisonNo comments
Tonight, the Toronto Raptors (14-4) will host the Cleveland Cavaliers (10-7) at the Air Canada Centre (7:30 p.m. Eastern).
The Raptors have the best record in the Eastern Conference and, after a couple of slips at the end of November (against the Dallas Mavericks and the Los Angeles Lakers), they are back on the winning path.
For Toronto, DeMar DeRozan is injured with a torn left adductor longus tendon, and there is currently no timetable for his return to the court; fortunately, the Canadians are not a one-man team and they have a 2-1 record without DeRozan on the floor.
Since DeRozan, the Raptors’ leading scorer, went down, point guard Kyle Lowry has led the offense. The Villanova product is averaging 19.6 PPG, 6.8 APG, and 4.9 RPG. James Johnson and Lou Williams have also upped their games with DeRozan out.
The Cavs, meanwhile, have finally found some consistency, riding a five-game winning streak north of the border. The Cavs are also completely healthy, as point guard Matthew Dellavedova is expected to be back after suffering a knee injury and missing the last 13 games.
“I feel pretty strong with how it’s been going in rehab and playing a little bit on the court,” said Dellavedova after Wednesday’s practice, during which he was able to participate in a full-court 4-on-4 scrimmage.
The return of the second-year guard gives the Cavs more depth. Coach David Blatt may use the return of Dellavedova to give starting point guard Kyrie Irving more rest. Irving is averaging a career-high with 37.6 minutes per game this season. He also scored a career-high 37 points as the Cavs topped the Knicks in New York last night, and may be feeling some fatigue after the tremendous effort just 24 hours ago.
“Hopefully take a bit of pressure off Kyrie, he has to play a lot of minutes at a high level,” Dellavedova said. “But just keep the ball moving, bring some defensive energy and try to push the pace.”
The Raptors have won six of the last ten games against the Cavs, and they are currently four-point home favorites for tonight’s game.