Toronto Raptors vs Atlanta Hawks

Kawhi Leonard's Toronto Raptors are hosted by Vince Carter and his upstart Atlanta Hawks on Thursday, February 7th at 7:30 PM EST at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, GA. Broadcast is available on TSN1/4 and Fox Sports Southeast; radio is available via 92.9 The Game (WZGC FM) and Sportsnet 590 The FAN.

How to Watch

Where: State Farm Arena in Atlanta, GA

When: Thursday, February 7th at 7:30 PM EST

How (TV/Radio): TSN1/4, Fox Sports Southeast | 92.9 The Game (WZGC FM), Sportsnet 590 The FAN.

Toronto Raptors (Away)

Head Coach: Nick Nurse {All-Time 38-16 | TOR}

The Toronto Raptors have taken some hits on their quest to regain first in the East from the Milwaukee Bucks. Currently ranked second in the East with a record of 38-16, the Toronto Raptors have a string of very winnable games before the All-Star Break.

The Raptors have posted a record of 6-4 in their last ten matches, with a point differential of +5.3. After losing to the Milwaukee Bucks they rebounded with a dominant win over the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Hawks pushed the Raptors to their limit in their last meeting. It took a late-game defensive stand from Kawhi Leonard to stop the Hawks from bringing the game to overtime. The Raptors will need to be active on the boards if they don't want a repeat of their last performance.

Atlanta Hawks (Home)

Head Coach: Lloyd Pierce {All-Time 18-35 | ATL}

The Atlanta Hawks have developed a decent run as of late. With a record of 18-35 the Hawks aren't anywhere near the playoff race, but at thirteenth in the East they aren't at danger of falling lower than the Bulls or Cavaliers either.

Over the last ten games the Atlanta Hawks have put together a record of 5-5. While they maintain a point differential of -7.2, the Hawks were able to pull out impressive wins over the Washington Wizards and Los Angeles Clippers.

The Hawks played the Raptors extremely well in their last meeting. After winning the first quarter of the game, the Hawks struggled to compete in the second and third. It was a late game misplay from Trae Young that won the Raptors the game, but the Hawks' athleticism proved an interesting match for the Raptors.

What's At Stake?

The Toronto Raptors and the Atlanta Hawks have provided NBA fans a tightly contested rivalry. In the all-time series the Atlanta Hawks lead the Toronto Raptors 45-43.

The Toronto Raptors are two games back from matching the Milwaukee Bucks for first in the East and a win would bring them one game closer.

A win for the Atlanta Hawks would do little for their standing, keeping them twelfth in the Eastern Conference.

Questions to answer

Are the Raptors looking to break up their core?

How far can Young and Collins carry the Hawks?

We are going to compare the Toronto Raptors and the Atlanta Hawks in an attempt to see who has the advantage in this matchup.

Rumors Abound In Toronto

The Toronto Raptors are a team aiming for an NBA Championship. Filled with a team of youth and experience, the Toronto Raptors seem to have the right mixture of personnel to challenge the best in the NBA.

The Raptors are not without their weaknesses though. They are an inaccurate three-point shooting team and have struggled with health issues all year long. The Raptors have been put in the running to acquire Anthony Davis, as well as Mike Conley and Marc Gasol via a recent release stating the Grizzlies called about a swap for Lowry and Valanciunas.

Regardless of who is on the Raptors after the NBA Trade Deadline, one thing is certain. The Raptors for the first time in the year will likely have a full complement after the NBA All-Star Break (barring any sudden injuries). If the Raptors make a trade it will be significant regardless of quality added. Time will tell if an addition would benefit the overall play of the team.

Young And Collins Are The Leaders Of This Team

The Atlanta Hawks aren't playing for much this season. Most of the year has been spent trying to figure out what pieces the Hawks have for the present and future. The Hawks have two interesting young pieces in Trae Young and John Collins.

In a match against the Phoenix Suns the Hawks had a chance to go .500 on their six-game road trip. The match itself was a see-saw affair presenting eighteen ties and sixteen lead changes. The Hawks eventually pulled off the win, with excellent performances from Young and Collins.

Young had a final line of 27 points, 8 assists, and 7 rebounds. Collins chipped in with an impressive 35 points and 16 rebounds. After a struggle over three quarters it was Collins and Young that took over. Their interplay and execution was excellent over the span of the fourth. While the Suns are not the most competitive match in the league, the Hawks youngsters showed impressive resolve to win the game.

Toronto Raptors Roster Notes

G Kyle Lowry - 4 Feb 2019 - Day To Day (Sore Back) - Lowry is listed as Doubtful for Tuesday's (Feb 5) game.

G Malachi Richardson - 4 Feb 2019 - Out (Knee) - Richardson has been ruled OUT for Tuesday's (Feb 5) game against the 76ers.

C Jonas Valanciunas - 4 Feb 2019 - Day To Day (Thumb) - Valanciunas is listed as Doubtful for Tuesday's (Feb 5) game.

Atlanta Hawks Roster Notes

C Miles Plumlee - 3 Feb 2019 - Day To Day (Left Knee Pain) - Plumlee has been ruled OUT for Monday's (Feb 4) game.

Head-to-Head: Pascal Siakam (TOR) vs John Collins (ATL)

Pascal Siakam

Power Forward | 6-9, 230lb (206cm, 104kg) | New Mexico State | Exp. 2 Years

15.4 PPG | 2.8 APG | 6.9 RPG | 0.9 SPG | 0.7 BPG | 1.8 TOV | .559 FG% | .331 3P%

Atlanta Hawks

Power Forward | 6-10, 235lb (208cm, 106kg) | Wake Forest | Exp. 1 Year

19.6 PPG | 2.2 APG | 10.0 RPG | 0.3 SPG | 0.4 BPG | 2.1 TOV | .584 FG% | .370 3P%

Two uber-athletic power forwards in Pascal Siakam and John Collins have been able to put on brilliant performances for their respective teams so far this season. Both had made a case to be considered All-Stars but ultimately both fell short. Siakam and Collins will be on a mission to prove that the NBA was wrong in their decision to withhold the players from the 2019 NBA All-Star Game.

Since the NBA All-Star reserves were named, Pascal Siakam has been on a tear. In a narrow loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, Pascal Siakam was the best player on the court. He posted a line of 28 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists while shooting 12-19 from the field and 2-3 from three. Siakam seems to be playing with a mission and is one of the most exciting players in the NBA.

Speaking of exciting players, John Collins is arguably having an even better season than Siakam. There is a caveat considering he plays on one of the worst teams in the league, but his ability to score inside and from three combined with his motor on the glass and defensively are assets many teams covet. He will be tasked with controlling the glass as well as slowing down the ever-speedy Siakam.

Toronto Raptors at Atlanta Hawks Predictions and Odds

The odds makers have the Toronto Raptors favoured over the Atlanta Hawks by 12, with an over/under of 109.

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