On Wednesday night the Raptors close out their 4 game NBA West Coast road trip in Sacramento. After winning their last 3 road games in convincing manner, they look to continue their scorching hot pace.
On Friday night they got backdoored on the spread by a flukey last second basket in Phoenix but covered their next two games emphatically. In Los Angeles on Sunday night, without Kawhi in the lineup, the Raps humbled King James' Lakers and then followed that up with an impressive showing in Utah on Monday, also without the services of Mr. Leonard, by posting a double digit win in the hardest arena to play the second night of a back to back.
Now as -8.5 point road favorites, we need to ask the following questions.
- Will Kawhi return to the lineup?
- Will it even matter if he does?
To answer the first question, news will not break on Kawhi's status until some point on Wednesday and as this is a 10pm EST tip off it may break quite late so if this is a deciding factor for you then wait it out. Neither option will be a surprise so it really is a coin flip.
The answer to the second question is YES, it will matter a considerable deal if Kawhi plays. The Sacramento Kings through 10 games are playing with the fastest pace of any NBA team and they haven't played a game since Sunday night meaning their legs are fresh. This will be the Raptors' 3rd game in 4 nights and 4th game in 6 nights.
Now the Raptors have shown that they can still be a bankable team without Kawhi in the lineup. So while they certainly have the depth to sustain through the long NBA season it will only be matter of time that they can survive without one of the best players in the NBA.
So with all things being considered, it feels as if -8.5 points is a little high Wednesday which should be expected with a 10-1 team. But having only gone 6-5 against the number so far this season means that we shouldn't expect they'll easily cover spreads, particulary inflated ones.
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