Houston Rockets vs Toronto Raptors: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch

What: Houston Rockets at Toronto Raptors

Where: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, ON, Canada

When: Thursday, 5 December 2019, 7:30 PM EST

How (TV/Radio): NBA TV, AT&T Sportsnet – Southwest, TSN4 | Sportsnet 590 The FAN, 790 KBME & 740 KTRH / 850 KEYH & 101.7 FM

Houston Rockets (Away)

Head Coach: Mike D’Antoni {All-Time 641-505 | DEN, PHX, NYK, LAL, HOU}

Season Record: 13-7

Projected Starting Five: (G) Russell Westbrook – (G) James Harden – (F) Ben McLemore – (F) PJ Tucker – (C) Tyson Chandler

Top Performers:

  • (G) James Harden – 36.8 MPG | 38.9 PPG | 5.9 RPG | 7.8 APG
  • (G) Russell Westbrook – 33.2 MPG | 22.1 PPG | 7.6 RPG | 6.9 APG
  • (C) Clint Capela – 31.9 MPG | 14.6 PPG | 14.7 RPG | 2.0 BPG

The Houston Rockets are coming off of an absolutely heartbreaking loss to the San Antonio Spurs.

In a double overtime affair, the Rockets came up short due to a crucial defensive effort made by Demar Derozan.

The Rockets will have a sour taste in their mouth when they take on the Toronto Raptors.

After feeling deserving of a win against the Spurs, it seems as if the reigning champion Toronto Raptors are in the firing line of Houston’s wrath.

Regardless of their emotions, the Houston Rockets are facing off against a team in the top five of both defence and offence in the NBA.

The Rockets can score with anyone, but if they let this Toronto team find their range it’ll be another long night.

Toronto Raptors (Home)

Head Coach: Nick Nurse {All-Time 73-29 | TOR}

Projected Starting Five: (G) Kyle Lowry – (G) Fred Vanvleet – (F) OG Anunoby – (F) Pascal Siakam – (C) Marc Gasol

Season Record: 15-5

Top Performers:

  • (F) Pascal Siakam – 36.8 MPG | 25.6 PPG | 8.4 RPG | 4.0 APG
  • (G) Kyle Lowry – 36.1 MPG | 21.8 PPG | 4.3 RPG | 6.5 APG
  • (G) Fred Vanvleet – 37.5 MPG | 18.6 PPG | 7.5 RPG | .400 3P%

The Toronto Raptors end their two-game homestand with a match against a motivated Houston Rockets team.

While the reigning champion Toronto Raptors lost their last game against the Miami Heat, they forced an overtime period despite their dismal shooting from the field.

The return of Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka is key to the success of the Toronto Raptors. However after 11 games without Lowry and 10 without Ibaka, the Raptors failed to integrate them well enough to take down the Miami Heat.

Toronto faces off with a Houston side that is coming off of a double-overtime loss to the San Antonio Spurs.

The high-scoring Rockets will be a handful for the Raptors, but Toronto’s defence has been a constant in the midst of their shooting slump.

What’s At Stake?

The Houston Rockets and the Toronto Raptors don’t have a rich rivalry, but it is certainly a tightly contested one. In 47 regular-season meetings, the Rockets lead the Raptors 27-20.

The Houston Rockets’ most recent loss places them fifth in the Western Conference. A win would bring them within half a game of the fourth-place Dallas Mavericks.

The Toronto Raptors are currently third in the East, tied in record with the Miami Heat. A win would put them back at second in the Eastern Conference.

Questions to answer

Can the Houston Rockets buckle down and stop the ball?

Can the Toronto Raptors get their shooting back on track?

We are going to compare the Houston Rockets and the Miami Heat in an attempt to see who has the advantage in this matchup.

The Houston Rockets Can’t Guard A Chair

It isn’t a matter of ability, but more an issue of desire. The Houston Rockets have the ability to score on whoever they want, but they are also allowing themselves to be scored on due to their purely offensive focus.

The balance isn’t great to see either. Despite losing 133-135 against the San Antonio Spurs, the Rockets shot 37.5% from the field and 29.4% from three. Compared to the Spurs’ 47.2% and 43.3%, it’s a wonder how Houston was even in the game.

Allowing such defensive performances is just asking to be heartbroken near the end. While the Rockets have fantastic individual defenders in Tucker, Capela, Sefolosha, and Chandler, it is clear that the stars of their team aren’t interested in the blue-collar end of the floor.

It’s Almost A New Team for the Raptors Once Again

The Toronto Raptors have been rolling, and it was all in the absence of key players Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka. When the Toronto Raptors took on the Miami Heat, they had most of their core complement back, but they struggled to stay involved.

Ibaka has an incredibly low maintenance game, showing that he has matured into a threatening inside-outside forward, with efficient shooting. However, in Kyle Lowry’s return, the five-time All-Star struggled to find his place.

The Toronto Raptors starred in the absence of Lowry, showing that their ball movement and defending was top tier.

That isn’t meant to suggest that the Raptors are better without Lowry, but his inability to convert on shots contrasted the contributions of role players who played with him out.

Where is the Balance for the Rockets?

It’s no secret that the Houston Rockets’ offence runs through James Harden and on occasion Russell Westbrook. However, the shooting disparity for the Rockets was worse than ever in their last game.

Through a double-overtime affair, James Harden and Russell Westbrook accounted for 60.7% of the Rockets’ field-goal attempts. On top of that, they also attempted 51% of the Rockets’ three-point field-goal attempts.

Houston has capable shooters on the perimeter and finishers in the paint. As seen through their loss to the Spurs, selfishness from the two stars tends to put them in a negative position.

They will have to spread the ball against the Raptors’ switchable defence if they hope to win.

The Raptors Struggled to Score Against the Heat

The Toronto Raptors lost their first home game of the season to the impressive Miami Heat. Erik Spoelstra was not only able to freeze out Pascal Siakam, but he put together a defensive scheme that forced the Raptors into tough shots.

Toronto was awful from the floor, shooting 38.5% from the field and 25.6% from three – a far cry from their shooting over the course of their seven-game winning streak (47.6% and 40.6% respectively).

The Houston Rockets don’t play as tough of a defence as the Miami Heat, but the Raptors will have to do their most to score at a high enough rate to keep up with the Rockets. Their starting five combined to shoot 20-56 against the Heat, that will need to dramatically improve.

Houston Rockets Roster Notes

(F) Danuel House – 2 Dec 2019 – Day To Day (Illness) – House is questionable for Tuesday’s (Dec. 3) game against San Antonio.

(C) Nene Hilario – 22 Nov 2019 – Out (Abductor) – Nene is still away from the team and there is currently no timeline for his return according to Vincent Sung of Clutch Points.

(G) Eric Gordon – 20 Nov 2019 – Out (Knee) – Gordon is still on course for a late December return from knee surgery according to Ben DuBose of USA Today.

(G) Gerald Green – 28 Oct 2019 – Out (Left Foot) – Houston Rockets G-F Gerald Green is expected to miss six months after having surgery, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.

Toronto Raptors Roster Notes

(G) Matt Thomas – 2 Dec 2019 – Out (Finger) – Thomas is out for Tuesday’s (Dec. 3) game against the Heat.

(F) Stanley Johnson – 18 Nov 2019 – Out (Groin) – Johnson Jr. will miss at least two weeks with a groin injury according to Blake Murphy of The Atheltic.

(G-F) Patrick McCaw – 6 Nov 2019 – Out (Knee) – McCaw had surgery on his left knee and will be re-evaluated in a month, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Head-to-Head: (G) Russell Westbrook vs (G) Kyle Lowry

Two veteran, All-Star guards have taken a step aside this season to accommodate the rise of another star on their respective teams.

Russell Westbrook is a juggernaut on every side of the court but can hurt his team with his volume. Kyle Lowry, on the other hand, is a defensive point guard, capable of locking down opponents and getting a hot hand himself.

(G) Russell Westbrook (6-3, 200lb (190cm, 90kg) | UCLA | 11 Years)

Season Age Team Games MP PTS REB AST FG% 3P%
19-20 31 HOU 17 33.2 22.1 7.6 6.9 .426 .233

There’s no secret as to what Russell Westbrook is going to do when he steps on the court. All-out effort on attack, with a nice sprinkling of volume shooting to top it off.

The margins are slim, but the Rockets perform better when Westbrook is more unselfish. In losses, he averages 6.3 assists and 19.5 field-goal attempts per game to his 7.2 assists and 18.8 field-goal attempts in wins.

(G) Kyle Lowry (6-0, 196lb (183cm, 88kg) | Villanova | 13 Years)

Season Age Team Games MP PTS REB AST FG% 3P%
19-20 33 TOR 9 36.1 21.8 4.3 6.5 .478 .426

Prior to his injury, Kyle Lowry was lighting it up. He was having his best season in recent years, since he chose to defer to others in order to improve the overall team’s performance. His return from injury was surprising, considering he openly admitted that his left hand still maintains a fracture.

Lowry’s defensive contributions will always be there. Stopping the ball and drawing charges are his calling card. He was awful in his last game against the Heat, shooting 2-18 from the field and 0-11 from three. The Raptors need his offense to take down Houston.

Houston Rockets at Toronto Raptors Predictions and Odds

The odds will be updated as they are made available.

Why the Houston Rockets Will Win

The Houston Rockets have ample firepower that can slow down even the NBA’s most impressive defence. If the Rockets can receive regular contributions from their bench players on top of Harden and Westbrook, they’ll be difficult to stop.

Why the Toronto Raptors Will Win

The Toronto Raptors have been incredible at home. Not only are they scoring 105.2 points per game, but they are limiting teams to 102.6 overall, good enough for third in the NBA. If the Raptors can get their shooting back on track, the defense will help them close against the Rockets.

WSN’s Pick

The Toronto Raptors shooting took a dip against the Heat, but based on their season it seems to be a blip due to the return of Lowry. With a game under their belt and their full complement back, the Rockets defense doesn’t project to be able to challenge the Raptors shooting.

WSN Picks: Toronto Raptors defeat Houston Rockets

Houston Rockets vs Toronto Raptors Odds

The latest odds for the Rockets vs the Raptors are provided by bet365 NJ, SugarHouse NJ, and 888sport NJ.

Good Luck!

Money Line

Sportsbook Rockets Raptors
bet365 NJ +110 -130
SugarHouse NJ +108 -127
DraftKings +108 -127

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