Dallas Mavericks vs Toronto Raptors: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch

What: Dallas Mavericks at Toronto Raptors

Where: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, ON, Canada

When: Sunday, 22 December 2019, 3:30 PM EST

How (TV/Radio): Fox Sports Southwest, SN1/E/O/W/P | Sportsnet 590 The FAN

Dallas Mavericks (Away)

Head Coach: {All-Time DET, IND, DAL | 769-636}

Season Record: 18-9

Projected Starting Five: (G) Jalen Brunson – (G) Tim Hardaway – (F) Dorian Finney-Smith – (F) Kristaps Porzingis – (C) Dwight Powell

Top Performers

  • (G) Luka Doncic – 32.2 MPG | 29.3 PPG | 9.6 RPG | 8.9 APG
  • (F-C) Kristaps Porzingis – 30.9 MPG | 17.4 PPG | 9.2 RPG | 2.1 BPG
  • (G) Tim Hardaway – 25.6 MPG | 13.0 PPG | 2.4 RPG | .359 3P%

The Dallas Mavericks have been soaring as of late, however, they were brought back down to earth when Luka Doncic went down with an injury. Despite his setback, the Mavericks have performed admirably.

A large part of their excellent play has been the performance of Kristaps Porzingis. The Unicorn has been excellent in the absence of Doncic, savoring the opportunity to be the first option.

They face off with a savvy but limited Toronto Raptors team. Toronto is lacking a number of their key pieces, but have a number of capable reserves that Rick Carlisle can’t take lightly.

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Toronto Raptors (Home)

Head Coach: Nick Nurse {All-Time 77-32 | TOR}

Projected Starting Five: (G) Kyle Lowry – (G) Malcolm Miller – (F) OG Anunoby – (F) Chris Boucher – (C) Serge Ibaka

Season Record: 19-8

Top Performers

  • (F) Pascal Siakam – 36.6 MPG | 25.1 PPG | 8.0 RPG | 3.6 APG
  • (G) Kyle Lowry – 37.4 MPG | 19.1 PPG | 7.3 APG | 1.3 SPG
  • (G) Fred Vanvleet – 36.6 MPG | 18.0 PPG | 7.0 APG | 2.0 SPG

After a slight hiccup, the Toronto Raptors are back on track. While they had fallen out of the top four, a beneficial schedule helped them work their way back.

The Toronto Raptors will have to deal with some holiday heartache though. In their match against the Detroit Pistons, Normal Powell injured his shoulder, while Marc Gasol injured his hamstring. The following day, Pascal Siakam strained his groin during training.

Head coach Nick Nurse is not expected to have either of his three starters available against the Mavericks, while Fred Vanvleet still has no timetable for return. While the Mavericks are undermanned, Nick Nurse will need to come up with some creative lineups to compensate for his lack of personnel.

What’s at Stake?

The Dallas Mavericks and the Toronto Raptors don’t meet often, but they maintain a rather competitive series. In 46 regular-season games, the Mavs lead the Raptors 26-20.

A win for the Dallas Mavericks would send them to third in the Western Conference.

A win for the Toronto Raptors would win them a tie for third in the Eastern Conference with the Miami Heat.

Questions to Answer

Can the Mavericks cope without Doncic?

How will the Raptors adjust with so many injuries?

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

Dallas Must Go Against the Grain

To say the Dallas Mavericks are a perimeter-oriented team would be an understatement. They are second in both three-pointers made and attempted, mostly due to the creation of Luka Doncic.

Almost tempting them to do otherwise, the Toronto Raptors are lacking their two frontcourt starters in Siakam and Gasol. The Mavericks are 23rd in the NBA at points in the paint, but they may find success attacking the rim.

The question lies in how much the Mavericks want to deviate from their gameplay, due to a wounded opponent. They have the tools, but they may not have the habit.

Can the Raptors Home Offence Keep Up?

It is clear how the Toronto Raptors separate their play whether they are at home or on the road. With the benefit of home court, they are more offensively oriented to the point of run-and-gun. On the road, they lean on their defense to win games. With so many players missing, they’ll be hard-pressed to maintain their standards.

With the combination of Siakam, Vanvleet, Powell, and Gasol unlikely to play, the missing contributions are shocking. They account for 64.1 points, 22.3 rebounds, 15.7 assists, and combine to shoot 43% from the field and 38.2% from three.

Much of the offence is expected to come from Kyle Lowry and OG Anunoby. While Lowry has had a scoring resurgence this year, he’ll have to be more focused on playmaking to help his other Raptors find their rhythm.

Dallas Needs to Chase the Ball

Dallas has a tough night out for them against the Raptors. Toronto is known for an excellent offence, marked by efficiency from three-point range.

Dallas is 21st in three-pointers allowed per game, but are eighth overall in three-point percentage allowed. The Toronto Raptors, on the other hand, are third in percentage and seventh in attempts per game.

With a banged-up roster, the Raptors will depend on ball movement more than ever. Dorian Finney-Smith, Delon Wright, and Tim Hardaway will have to put on a serious defensive shift.

Who Will Step Up for the Raptors?

The Toronto Raptors are missing a fair amount of players due to injury. Of their fifteen man (plus two two-ways) roster, six players are injured. Those players account for 145.4 of the available minutes per game. So who is expected to take their place?

The first looks will go to rookie Terence Davis, athletic big man Chris Boucher, and three-time champion Patrick McCaw.

  • Terence Davis – has seen his minutes fluctuate, and thus his contributions as well – but when he gets in a groove, he is tough to stop as shown by five 10-19 point-scoring efforts.
  • Patrick McCaw – hasn’t shown much shooting the ball, and has been injured, but Nurse trusts him as a defender and a playmaker to the point he’s averaged 21.9 minutes per game since returning from injury.
  • Chris Boucher – is the most interesting, as the Canadian averaged an admirable 9.3 points and 7.0 rebounds in the absence of Serge Ibaka.

There is also the matter of Malcolm Miller and Dewan Hernandez, who has shown promise in limited minutes. But the former three remain the most likely to get an extended run against the Mavericks. Whether or not they can take advantage of their opportunity is the question.

Dallas Mavericks Roster Notes

(G) Luka Doncic – 15 Dec 2019 – Out (Ankle) – Donkic will miss at least two weeks with a moderate right ankle sprain.

Toronto Raptors Roster Notes

(F) Pascal Siakam – 19 Dec 2019 – Out (Groin) – it was announced that Siakam suffered a groin injury during training and is not expected to play against Dallas on Sunday.

(C) Marc Gasol – 18 Dec 2019 – Day To Day (Hamstring) – Gasol left Wednesday’s (Dec 18) game with a strained left hamstring and did not return.

(G) Norman Powell – 18 Dec 2019 – Day To Day (Shoulder) – Norman Powell left Wednesday’s (Dec 18) game and did not return.

(G) Fred Vanvleet – 18 Dec 2019 – Day To Day (Knee) – VanVleet did not play in Wednesday’s game (Dec. 18) against the Pistons.

(F) Stanley Johnson – 11 Dec 2019 – Out (Groin) – Johnson has not played since November and no timetable has been announced for a return as he recovers from a left groin stress reaction.

(G) Matt Thomas – 26 Nov 2019 – Out (Finger) – Thomas will miss at least four weeks with a broken left ring finger.

Head-to-Head: (F-C) Kristaps Porzingis vs (C) Serge Ibaka

All eyes should be on the middle of the paint when Kristaps Porzingis’ silky offensive game meets the defensive prowess of Serge Ibaka.

(F-C) Kristaps Porzingis (7-3, 240lb (221cm, 108kg) | Latvia | 3 Years)

 

 

SeasonAgeTeamGamesMPPTSREBASTFG%3P%
19-2024DAL2630.917.49.21.5.401.333

 

The Mavericks are 1-2 in games without Luka Doncic, but without him, Porzingis has looked spectacular. He is averaging 23.7 points and 13.0 rebounds to go along with 2.3 blocks per game.

With Siakam and Gasol out, Porzingis’ only physical match on the Raptors is Ibaka. Ibaka is known to be slow of foot, so if Porzingis can take advantage of him off the dribble, it may be curtains for the Raptors.

(C) Serge Ibaka (7-0, 235lb (213cm, 106kg) | Republic of the Congo | 10 Years)

SeasonAgeTeamGamesMPPTSREBASTFG%3P%
19-2030TOR1722.413.17.41.3.459.317

For a small period of time, Serge Ibaka was struggling since his return from injury. However, a zero-point effort against the Clippers seemed to reawaken the versatile African.

Over his last three, Ibaka is averaging 17.0 points, 10.0 rebounds, and a block and steal for good measure. He exploded for 25 points and 13 rebounds against the Pistons, due to an extended pairing with Kyle Lowry. His scoring is necessary in order to challenge Porzingis.

Dallas Mavericks at Toronto Raptors Predictions

Why the Dallas Mavericks Will Win

The Dallas Mavericks have been hot and cold since the loss of Luka Doncic. They were able to grind out a win over the Milwaukee Bucks through sheer effort. All things go through Porzingis, if he is as dominant as he was in his last two, the Raptors may not be able to cope.

Why the Toronto Raptors Will Win

The Toronto Raptors have the odds against them. However, whenever the Raptors are shorthanded, they seem to have a hidden gem that spurs them on to an excellent performance. If their bench can prove themselves once again, they can take this game.

WSN’s Pick

Missing six players is tough, especially when four of them have been regular starters for portions of the season. The Raptors are strong, but they likely don’t have the personnel to stop the Mavericks.

WSN Picks: Dallas Mavericks defeat Toronto Raptors.

Dallas Mavericks vs Toronto Raptors Game Odds

The latest odds for the Mavericks vs Raptors game are provided by DraftKings Sportsbook, bet365 NJ, and Caesars NJ.

Money Line

SportsbookMavericksRaptors
bet365 NJ+120-140
DraftKings+118-139
Caesars NJ+120-140

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