The NBA kicks off its holiday week with nine exciting matchups from across the league!
Opening the night are the slumping Toronto Raptors who look to take down their Eastern Conference rivals the Philadelphia 76ers. The Orlando Magic hope to maintain their red-hot form when they take on the Atlanta Hawks. And the battle for the bottom of the West kicks off when the San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets face off!
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When: 7:00 PM EST
|Toronto Raptors||+7.0 (-120)||O 219.5 (-113)||+210|
|Philadelphia 76ers||-7.0 (-103)||U 219.5 (-113)||-275|
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The Toronto Raptors and the Philadelphia 76ers face off in one of the Eastern Conference's most heated matchups. Toronto have been tumbling down the Eastern Conference table, as they're on a five-game losing streak after losing eight of their last 10. The Philadelphia 76ers on the other hand are on a five-game winning streak after winning seven of their previous 10 games.
Over the course of their four-game losing streak, the Raptors' defense has been laughable. They've allowed 53.3% shooting from the field and 38.8% from three - all while shooting just 45.6% and 29.5% respectively. The Sixers have found success through their tremendous passing and three-point shooting, averaging 29.5 assists per game while hitting 15.5 threes on 44.3% efficiency during their four-game winning streak.
The Toronto Raptors are still a responsible team, averaging just 7.8 turnovers per game through their five-game losing streak. However their offense is uninspired, and the Philadelphia 76ers have too many scoring options for the Raptors to keep up.
When: 7:30 PM EST
|Orlando Magic||+7.5 (-112)||O 229.0 (-112)||+240|
|Atlanta Hawks||-7.5 (-109)||U 229.0 (-109)||-305|
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Don't look now, but the Orlando Magic have shown some impressive quality over the NBA's best. The Orlando Magic are on a six-game winning streak, now climbing to half a game within the 12th seed. The Atlanta Hawks have gone 4-6 over their last 10 games, now sitting .500 and eighth in the Eastern Conference.
For all of Orlando's length and mismatch ability, they've struggled to shoot the ball this season. However, they've found success through their six-game win streak by converting 11.4 threes per game on 37.0% efficiency. The Hawks on the other hand have struggled to defend over their recent five-game run, allowing their opponents to shoot 50.1% from the field and 38.1% from three-point range.
Surely the Orlando Magic's form will cool down sooner rather than later, but through the success of Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner, you should be optimistic about the Magic. Add to that the fact the Hawks are missing their two main big men, Clint Capela and John Collins, and the Magic continuing their hot streak doesn't seem so far-fetched.
When: 8:00 PM EST
|San Antonio Spurs||+4.0 (-110)||O 228.9 (-110)||+145|
|Houston Rockets||-4.0 (-110)||U 228.9 (-110)||-175|
Both the San Antonio Spurs and the Houston Rockets find themselves fighting at the bottom of the Western Conference. The San Antonio Spurs are 14th in the West with a 3-7 record over their last 10 games. While the Houston Rockets sit last in the Western Conference, having gone 4-6 over their last 10.
The Spurs are one of the league's worst two-way teams. Their ability to pass the ball and generate 27.3 assists per game (3rd in the NBA) and 11.9 offensive rebounds per game (7th in the NBA) is about the only thing that gets them by. The Rockets are similar in their efforts, averaging 13.8 offensive rebounds per game (1st in the NBA) while earning 25.7 free throw attempts per game (3rd in the NBA).
The Rockets dropped their last game against the Spurs, as they struggled to keep up with the pace of their ball movement. However with some key role players missing due to injury, and a more positive two-game run, expect the Rockets to even up the season series.
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Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.
Email: [email protected]More info on Christian Jope
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