RAPTORS V NETS

Brooklyn have one win over Toronto earlier in the previous month – at the very time when the Raptors are topping everyone to take the lead in the Eastern Conference.

Kawhi Leonard was in the game that night and he made 32 points, but the Nets are excellent enough to hold the premier Toronto player off to pave the way to a 106-105 Brooklyn victory. D’Angelo Russell scored 29 points that night, which included six points in overtime.

Brooklyn are in a good form lately, winning four of their last five games.

Last week, the Nets are hot after they frustrated Anthony Davis’ ferocious return in New Orleans. Davis made 34 points that night at Barclays Center, but Russel made 22 points and 13 assists complemented by 21 points from Joe Harris to conclude the match in a 121-126 Brooklyn win over the Pelicans.

The Nets will be trying to repeat their victory over Toronto from last month, but they might have a really hard time doing that.

The Raptors went Jurassic last Sunday at Fiserv Forum when they beat Milwaukee Bucks 123-116. The Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo made 43 points that night, higher than Leonard’s 30 points, but Pascal Siakam added 30 to top the Greek freak.

In the following day, the Raptors defeated the Pacers at Scotiabank Arena. Norman Powell made a season-high- 23 points that night, to which Siakam added 12 points and 10 rebounds to beat Indiana 105-121. Toronto broke the Pacers’ six-game winning streak that night.

Toronto’s most recent win was a 101-104 victory over Atlanta last Wednesday at Scotiabank. While premier guard Kawhi Leonard made 31 points that night, Serge Ibaka made the winning shot to end the game in a Raptors’ win over the Hawks.

While the Nets are hot, the Raptors are hotter today, not even considering that the Saturday match will be at Toronto home. Tipster are giving the Raptors a line of -9.5 to Over/Under 220.

TRAIL BLAZERS V HORNETS

The Hornets will be travelling to Portland on Saturday to face one of the biggest names in the league today.

Charlotte are an average team in the NBA today, sitting at the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference. They have a hard time dealing with the hottest teams in the league as their last five games are matches with the likes of LA Clippers, Denver Nuggets, and Dallas Mavericks.

The Hornets’ most recent match was with the Clippers last Wednesday at Staples, where they lost 109-128. LA’s Lou Williams made 27 points and 10 assists that night to top the 24 points from Charlotte’s Malik Monk.

Prior to that, they also lost to the Nuggets last Sunday at Pepsi Center, where Kemba Walker made 20 points but thrashed by 39 points and 12 rebounds from Nikola Jokic. Denver made a 123-110 win over Charlotte in that game.

The Hornets also lost to the Mavericks last week. The game ended in a Dallas 122-84 thrashing of Charlotte at Spectrum Center after Luka Doncic and Dennis Smith Jr. went blitzkrieg in a long range shooting. Walker only made 11 points in that match.

Charlotte’s most recent win was a 119-113 victory over the Phoenix Suns last Monday at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Walker made 29 points that night to top the 23 from TJ Warren.

The Hornets’ Saturday rivals – the Trail Blazers – are not teams that could be taken as a joke.

Portland was able to hold a 110-101 domination over Houston Rockets last Sunday at Moda Center. The win was not the only feat for the Blazers that night as they also able to keep the Rockets’ premier shooter James Harden from extending his five-game 40-point run, and it is one big achievement in itself.

The Trail Blazers are given a line of -6.5 to the Hornets’ Over/Under 222.5.

TIMBERWOLVES V MAVERICKS

Dallas is holding a relatively poor form lately, with three losses out of their last five wins in the league. Their most recent win, in fact, was a 104-94 over the Phoenix Suns – the 15th team and bottom in the Western Conference.

The Mavs were unfortunate last Saturday when they lost 93-114 against Boston Celtics at TD Garden where Dallas’ Harrison Barnes made 20 points, while Boston’s Jaylen Brown made 21.

The Mavericks further made misfortunes as they lost 100-106 to the Philadelphia 76ers last Sunday at Wells Fargo Center. 76ers’ Joel Embiid generated 25 points and 12 rebounds that night, to which Ben Simmons added 20 points, 14 rebounds, and 11 assists. The Mavs’ Wesley Matthews made 25 points that night.

Dallas also lost to the Los Angeles Lakers last Tuesday at American Airlines Center, where Luka Doncic made 27 points. Lakers’ Brandon Ingram, however, scored 29 points complemented by 21 more points from Lonzo Ball. The loss was stunning as the Mavs are 16-4 at home.

Dallas’s most remarkable feat so far is a 122-84 victory over Charlotte last week at Spectrum Center. Doncic and Dennis Smith Jr. pulled off some long-range shootings that night to beat the Hornets’ top scorers such as Kemba Walker.

Based on their recent form, the Mavs cannot pull off victories over the most offensive-leaning teams in the league, and they will surely have a problem as they will be facing the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday at Target Center.

The Wolves are in no way vulnerable as of the moment with victories against the likes of Oklahoma City and the Lakers.

Last Wednesday, the Timberwolves beat the Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Andrew Wiggins shot a season-high 40 points and 10 rebounds that night to lead Minesota to a 119-117 win. It was the first game of the Wolves under interim coach Ryan Saunders.

Minnesota also faced the Lakers last Monday at Target which concluded in a 106-86 Wolves’ win over Los Angeles. With LeBron James out of the action, Lakers’ Lance Stephenson led LA, making 14 points but was not able to beat the 28 points from the Timberwolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns.

With the league standing and form of both of the teams considered, the Timberwolves are given a line of -5 to Over/Under 222.

By @FitsEly

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