The Raptors will be undermanned yet again when they take on the New York Knicks on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. After trading All-NBA star forward Pascal Siakam to Indiana this past Wednesday, they will be without one of the most accomplished players in franchise history.
The Knicks, meanwhile, are on fire, having won eight of their last 10 games. They currently stand in fifth place in the Eastern Conference with a 25-17 record. The Raptors’ struggles this year have continued as they find themselves mired in 12th place with a 16-26 mark. Now they’ve traded away arguably two of their top three players in OG Anunoby (to the Knicks) and Siakam.
This will be the two teams’ first meeting since the Anunoby trade that netted Toronto R.J. Barrett and Immanuel Quickley. How will it go down? Read on for a full preview.
Bet on Raptors vs. Knicks
Raptors vs. Knicks odds
|Raptors Moneyline Odds
|Knicks Moneyline Odds
|228.0 points (over -110, under -110)
|Knicks -7.5 (-110)
|Jan. 20, 7:30 p.m. ET
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About the Raptors (16-26 SU, 20-21-1 ATS, 23-19 o/u)
The Raptors, on the other hand, have seen better days. They are now incontrovertibly in Scottie Barnes’ hands but the third-year multi-talented wing has seen his numbers drop since the Anunoby trade. He’s been averaging 18.4 points per game in January, down from the 23.8 he has averaged over the entire year. His rebounds and assists numbers are also down this month from his overall season numbers.
One would think at least his scoring numbers would rise now after losing his All-Star teammate Siakam, the team’s leading scorer since the beginning of December. He did pour in 31 points against Chicago on Thursday – hopefully, a sign of things to come for Raptors fans. Toronto has continued their struggles this season even after their last trade and come into the Big Apple having lost five of their last six.
R.J. Barrett and Immanuel Quickley have been shining, however, averaging 20.2 and 18 points per game respectively. The new additions have provided some needed scoring punch but Toronto’s defence has been very iffy, with the Raps feeling the loss of Siakam. That trade netted them Bruce Brown along with some end-of-the-bench players in Kira Lewis and Jordan Nwora, plus three first-round draft picks.
Brown, known as a defensive specialist, is rumoured to be on his way out however so expect another move by Toronto soon. He made his debut for the Raptors Thursday night with a solid 15 points and seven rebounds in 25 minutes on 7-10 shooting. It will be interesting to see just how much he can improve the Toronto defence in what is expected to be a short stay there.
About the Knicks (25-17 SU, 22-18-2 ATS, 19-23 o/u)
The Knicks have thrived since trading away R.J. Barrett and Immanuel Quickley for O.G. Anunoby and Precious Achiuwa. They’ve gone 8-3 since that trade behind an improved defence and more shots for Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle.
Brunson has been especially hot as of late, scoring above 30 in five of his last seven games and coming off a scorching 41-point performance against the Washington Wizards Thursday night. Overall this season, the sixth-year point guard ranks 11th in the league in scoring with 26.3 points per game.
Former Raptor O.G. Anunoby has found his spot on the team, providing versatile defence and needed toughness. His current and former teammate, Precious Achiuwa, has found his spot in the rotation coming off the bench. And while R.J. Barrett and Immanuel Quickley have played well for Toronto, it seems the Knicks as a team are far better off with their new additions.
The Knicks are hosting the Raptors in what will be the last of a four-game homestand that’s seen them go 2-1. They actually won’t be leaving town until the 29th as their only “road” game before that is against Brooklyn.
Isaiah Hartenstein (NYK) over 10.5 rebounds
- The Raptors should again be without forward Otto Porter Jr. (knee) and centre Jakob Poeltl (ankle). Porter Jr. is listed as doubtful and Poeltl is set to be re-evaluated in a week.
- The Knicks will be missing centre Mitchell Robinson (ankle) and have listed shooting guard Josh Hart (knee) as questionable. He’s day-to-day and missed their game Thursday night.
- The Raptors are currently 12th in the NBA when it comes to hitting the over but that number jumps to third when they are on the road.
- Toronto does not fare as well against the spread, ranking 17th overall in the league and 14th when away from home at exactly 50%.
- The Knicks are 11th at home against the spread but seventh-best in the league overall.
- With coach Tom Thibodeau known for his defensive acumen, it may not be a surprise that the Knicks rank 24th in the league at hitting the over. But look on the bright side. That means they are an impressive 7th in the league in making the under. As the home team, that number jumps to third overall at 6-12.
Player Prop Trends
- Immanuel Quickley has hit double digits in nine of his 10 games as a Raptor while significantly increasing his rebound and assist numbers at 5.2 and 4.8 respectively.
- Minus an uncharacteristic four-point output against Utah four games ago, R.J. Barrett has come on strong for Toronto, scoring at least 20 in five of his last six games.
- In January, Jalen Brunson has been averaging a superb 27.8 points and 8.4 assists per contest and making nearly three threes a game.
- His All-Star teammate Julius Randle has not been far behind, giving a productive 26.4 points and 7.5 rebounds per game.
- Former Raptor OG Anunoby has averaged exactly 15 points per game as a Knick, reaching double digits in nine of his ten total games there.
Wagers to Consider
- Under 228 points (-110): It’s already a low game point total but with the Raptors missing Pascal Siakam’s offensive production and the Knicks’ hesitancy to allow a lot of points scored at home, this is a wager many are eyeing. The Knicks, after all, are 3rd in the NBA in points allowed per game.
- Barnes Over 30.5 Points/Assists/Rebounds (-120): Thursday night’s game against the Bulls suggests an upward trend for Scottie Barnes’ output. Watch for him to find his groove in his third game without Siakam as the team will be looking to him to take control. This is Scottie’s time now.
- Isaiah Hartenstein Over 10.5 rebounds (-120): This one’s a bit under the radar, but in Mitchell Robinson’s absence, Hartenstein has been a revelation. The sixth-year seven-footer has been averaging a whopping 14.3 rebounds in the new year and has even grabbed 20 on two occasions.