New Orleans Pelicans vs Toronto Raptors: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch Pelicans at Raptors

Where: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, ON, Canada

When: Tuesday, 22 October 2019, 8:00 PM EST

How (TV): TNT, Sportsnet

New Orleans Pelicans (Away)

Head Coach: Alvin Gentry {All-Time 480-553 | MIA, DET, PHX, NOP}

Season Record: 0-0

Projected Starting Five: (G) Lonzo Ball – (G) Jrue Holiday – (F) Brandon Ingram – (F) Zion Williamson – (C) Derrick Favors

Top Performers

All stats taken from 18-19 NBA season.

  • (G) Jrue Holiday – 35.9 MPG | 21.2 PPG | 5.0 RPG | 7.7 APG
  • (F) Brandon Ingram – 33.8 MPG | 18.3 PPG | 5.1 RPG | .518 eFG%
  • (G) E’Twaun Moore – 27.6 MPG | 11.9 PPG | 2.4 RPG | .432 3P%

The New Orleans Pelicans held a king’s ransom for Anthony Davis and the Los Angeles Lakers certainly paid what was asked. While they are down a superstar, the Pelicans have an exciting team of young stars to call their own.

Alvin Gentry will have his hands full trying to manage such a young group, but New Orleans’ front office aided him by bringing in some key veteran pieces. JJ Redick and Derrick Favors are two experienced players who can both guide their young players and contribute on the court.

The Pelicans will be taking on the reigning NBA Champions the Toronto Raptors in their first game of the season. All eyes will be on Zion Williamson, the NBA’s most exciting prospect since LeBron James.

Toronto Raptors (Home)

Head Coach: Nick Nurse {All-Time 58-24 | TOR}

Season Record: 0-0

Projected Starting Five: (G) Kyle Lowry – (G) Norman Powell – (G) OG Anunoby – (F) Pascal Siakam – (C) Serge Ibaka

Top Performers

All stats taken from 18-19 NBA season.

  • (F) Pascal Siakam – 31.9 MPG | 16.9 PPG | 6.9 RPG | 3.1 APG
  • (C) Serge Ibaka – 27.2 MPG | 15.0 PPG | 8.1 RPG | 1.4 BPG
  • (G) Kyle Lowry – 34.0 MPG | 14.2 PPG | 8.7 APG | 1.4 SPG

The Toronto Raptors are in a rare situation where they are the defending champions, but find themselves back at the starting line due to the departure of Kawhi Leonard. With the keys passed to Pascal Siakam, are the Toronto Raptors still quality?

Masai Ujiri used the summer to put together a team that will certainly compete on the defensive end, but looks as if they will struggle on offense. Kyle Lowry will again have to step up as an offensive force, a role he’s been able to shy away from in recent seasons.

They don’t want their ring ceremony night to be spoiled by the New Orleans Pelicans. They played late into last spring and many players used the summer to heal from injury or compete internationally, so they are yet to be 100%. They will need to lock in defensively to slow the upstart Pelicans.

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What’s At Stake for Pelicans vs Raptors?

The New Orleans Pelicans and the Toronto Raptors have met 37 times over the history of their respective franchises. The Toronto Raptors hold the all-time series lead, 23-14.

This is the first match of the season for the New Orleans Pelicans. Getting off on the right foot is essential for them.

The Toronto Raptors will be receiving their NBA Championship rings and will also be hoisting their banner into the rafters. They won’t want that to be spoiled with a loss.

Watch the Pels Fly

While they might not have the most experienced or even talented roster in the NBA, the New Orleans Pelicans are one of the leagues most athletic. Boasting the talents of Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and of course, Zion Williamson, expect some hardwood acrobatics.

Their athleticism isn’t just for show though. The Pelicans will rely on the transition game to power much of their offensive ability. While they have capable pieces in their starting lineup, they don’t own one out-and-out star.

The transition will be the key when they take on the Raptors. Toronto boasts an incredible team defense with length and strength at every position. New Orleans won’t be able to bully their way to a victory.

Can Anunoby Make the Jump?

Projected by many to be Leonard’s early replacement, OG Anunoby needs to come back strong from a down season in order for the Raptors to be successful. While he impressed in his rookie season, he failed to do so in his last through little fault of his own.

In his sophomore campaign, Anunoby lost a number of games due to personal issues as well as a late-season appendectomy that scratched him from Toronto’s playoff run. Anunoby is a capable three-point shooter and defender, but he will need to improve his in-between game to make a real impact.

His matchup against Brandon Ingram in this match will be telling. Ingram is longer than Anunoby and a capable scorer, he does lack the strength of the Toronto small forward though. How Anunoby adjusts will be key.

What to Expect of the LA Contingent

When the Pelicans traded Anthony Davis they acquired three very talented young players. Josh Hart a stout defender, Lonzo Ball a crafty and tall point guard, and Brandon Ingram a physically unique scorer.

While they didn’t perform poorly in Los Angeles, expectations were high alongside LeBron James. Now out of the spotlight, each is more likely to focus on their craft.

Ingram is the most individually capable of the three, already showing unique prowess scoring the ball. Ball is an excellent playmaker, but he will have to show that his shooting has improved. Also, Hart will have to show similar efficiency on offense with increased volume.

There is no more excuses for these three, as they’ve left Hollywood for The Bayou. How they cope with a championship-level defense will be a massive test in game one of eighty-two.

Can the Raptors Dominate the Paint?

During the Raptors championship run, they were certainly a capable three-point shooting team. However, their shooting ability was bolstered by their ability to get to the rim and kick-out for easy looks.

When the Toronto Raptors take on the New Orleans Pelicans, they won’t find too much opposition in the paint. While Jahlil Okafor and Derrick Favors are solid frontcourt players, they don’t meet the quality of Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka.

The Pelicans are an incredibly switchable team, so expect the Raptors to take advantage of mismatches at every opportunity.

New Orleans Pelicans Roster Notes

(F) Darius Miller – 28 Sep 2019 – Out (Achilles) – Miller underwent surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles tendon. There is no timetable for his return.

Toronto Raptors Roster Notes

(G) Kyle Lowry – 15 Oct 2019 – Day-to-Day (Thumb) – Lowry was a full participant in Tuesday’s practice, but will continue to be eased back into playing time after undergoing surgery to repair his thumb.

(G-F) Patrick McCaw – 16 Oct 2019 – Day-to-Day (Knee) – McCaw did not participate in practice and will undergo an MRI.

X-Factors: Zion Williamson (NOP) vs Pascal Siakam (TOR)

The Pelicans and the Raptors will battle it out across the court on Tuesday, with special attention being paid to the power forward position.

Reigning Most Improved Player of the Year Pascal Siakam is out to prove last season wasn’t a fluke, as he matches up with one of the NBA’s most exciting young stars in Zion Williamson.

(F) Zion Williamson (6-6, 285lb (198cm, 129kg) | Duke | Rookie)

 

 

SeasonAgeCollegeGamesMPPTSREBASTFG%3P%
18-1918DUKE3330.022.68.92.1.680.338

 

Zion Williamson’s rookie debut is the most anticipated by a player since LeBron James in 2003. “Zanos”, as he’s affectionally named, will have his first opportunity to prove he’s more than just a highlight machine.

Williamson will have his hands full with Siakam. The lightning quick forward will test Williamson’s lateral quickness and awareness off the ball.

In college, Williamson dominated players with his physicality and there’s no suggestion he won’t be able to do the same in the NBA. Zion will have to practice patience, as the savvy Raptors defense is waiting to draw charges on his bullish paint attack.

(F) Pascal Siakam (6-9, 230lb (206cm, 104kg) | New Mexico State | 3 Years)

 

 

SeasonAgeTeamGamesMPPTSREBASTFG%3P%
18-1924TOR8031.916.96.93.1.549.369

 

Siakam won the Most Improved Player Award last season, but he will have to show that it wasn’t a fluke. With Leonard gone from the north, all eyes have been thrust on his slim Cameroonian frame.

Siakam will not only be playing as a floor-runner as usual but will now be taking the opportunity to initiate the offense. He has the opportunity to compromise Williamson off the dribble but will have to prove he can make the right decision at decisive moments in play.

The Cameroonian won’t be able to power through Williamson, but challenging the heavy forward laterally will be the key to success. If Siakam can find penetration, odds are there are very few in the NBA that can stop him.

New Orleans Pelicans at Toronto Raptors Predictions and Odds

Early odds favor the Toronto Raptors in this match against the New Orlean Pelicans. While bets favor the NBA Champions, the Pelicans can certainly defy the odds.

Why the New Orleans Pelicans Will Win

The transition game for the Pelicans is near unmatched in the NBA. The Raptors have their speedsters as well, but should New Orleans find a rhythm early they could easily outpace Toronto’s plodding big men.

Why the Toronto Raptors Will Win

Teamwork makes the dream work and the Toronto Raptors are full of dreams and work ethic. Toronto is a veteran team with a fantastic defensive and offensive versatility. While their depth is lacking, their team identity on offense and defense stop opponents from being able to lock down one zone of play.

Game Odds – New Orleans Pelicans vs Toronto Raptors

The latest odds for the Pelicans vs Raptors are provided by bet365 NJ, DraftKings, and Unibet NJ.

Good Luck!

Money Line:

SportsbookPelicansRaptors
bet365 NJ+235-290
DraftKings+235-286
Unibet NJ+230-286

Point Spread:

SportsbookPelicans

+7

Raptors

-7

bet365 NJ-110-110
DraftKings-110-110
Unibet NJ-110-110

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