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|Team||Point Spread||Total||Money Line|
While the storylines between these two teams write themselves, the Raptors are starved for bodies due to their recurring injury issues. The Clippers’ star talent and depth should overcome Toronto’s blue-collar effort.
LA Clippers def. Toronto Raptors (-500)
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|Toronto Raptors vs LA Clippers Information|
|What||Toronto Raptors vs LA Clippers|
|Where||STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA|
|When||10:00 PM EST, May 4th, 2021|
|How to Watch||TNT|
|Nick Nurse||Head Coach||Tyronn Lue|
|27-38 (11th in West)||Standing||43-22 (4th in West)|
|112.6 (14th of 30)||Off Rtg||117.9 (2nd of 30)|
|112.1 (13th of 30)||Def Rtg||111.7 (10th of 30)|
|99.3 (14th of 30)||Pace||97.0 (28th of 30)|
Leaders (Per Game)
|P. Siakam (20.9)||PPG||K. Leonard (25.5)|
|K. Birch (7.7)||RPG||I. Zubac (7.3)|
|K. Lowry (7.3)||APG||R. Rondo (5.3)|
|F. Vanvleet (1.7)||SPG||K. Leonard (1.6)|
|C. Boucher (1.9)||BPG||S. Ibaka (1.2)|
|K. Birch (.587)/P. Siakam (7.6)||FG%/FGM||I. Zubac (.644)/K. Leonard (9.3)|
|J. Harris (.600)/F. Vanvleet (3.3)||3P%/3PM||M. Morris (.467)/P. George (3.2)|
The Toronto Raptors have struggled this season due to injury and inconsistency. As such, they’ve had to dig deeper into their bench for production – with varying results.
Toronto are ranked 29th in the NBA in bench scoring, averaging 30.7 points from their reserves per game. However, in their recent victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, the Raptors backups posted 41 points on 46.7% shooting.
Lowry and Siakam led the way for the Raptors in their last game, combining for 76 points. The duos scoring output is no really sustainable, so it’ll be up to the reserves to make up the difference.
Kyle Lowry is FEELING IT ♨️
Three plus the foul pic.twitter.com/zBNBkFCSrp
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 3, 2021
At 35 years old, Kyle Lowry is one of the most veteran players in the league. Something that many teams chose not to value at this year’s NBA Trade Deadline. He exploded in his last game against the Lakers, showing them what they missed out on.
Lowry produced his best game of the season, scoring 37 points, dishing 11 assists, and shooting 60% from the field along with making eight three-pointers.
The LA Clippers wing defenders are fiercer than Lowry faced in the Lakers. While his shooting is welcome for head coach Nick Nurse, Lowry’s ability to initiate the offense and involve his teammates will be more valuable.
The LA Clippers’ defensive standards have dropped over their last three games. If they want to beat the Toronto Raptors, they can’t allow their shooters to get going.
Over their last three, the Clippers have allowed their opponents to connect on 13.3 threes per game on 40.8% shooting. Against the Raptors, who are third in the league in three-pointers made per game, LA can’t be lazy getting out on shooters.
The return of George and Leonard will bolster the Clippers’ defense, but it is still up to big men like Marcus Morris and Ivica Zubac to do their job. Stopping Toronto’s limited scoring options will be priority number one.
— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) May 3, 2021
The last three LA Clippers losses, Paul George has had to take on an expanded scoring role. However, with a number of key players out or unavailable, George’s efficiency suffered.
Over his last three games George has averaged 18.0 points and 6.7 rebounds on 32.1% shooting from the field and 30.4% shooting from three.
George needs to be an efficient factor in the Clippers’ offense, especially with Serge Ibaka unavailable in the paint. If he can’t convert with consistency, expect Kawhi Leonard to take the reigns on offense.
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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