Toronto Raptors vs New York Knicks: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch

Where: Madison Square Garden in New York, NY

When: Saturday, February 9th at 9:00 PM EST

How (TV/Radio): MSGN, TSN | Sportsnet 590 The Fan

Toronto Raptors (Away)

Head Coach: Nick Nurse {All-Time 40-16 | TOR}

The Toronto Raptors are sitting safely as the second place team in the Eastern Conference. With a record of 40-16 the Raptors are tied with the Bucks for wins but are behind in the losses column.

Over the last ten games the Toronto Raptors have been their consistent selves; 7-3 with a +5.6 point differential. Impressively the Raptors were able to pull off a double-digit win over the lowly Atlanta Hawks with only nine available players.

The Raptors will face off with a Knicks team that are headed for the very top of the lottery. Dennis Smith Jr is a dynamic point guard who now boasts the freedom to operate freely as a playmaker. Between him and DeAndre Jordan on the inside, the Knicks can’t be taken lightly.

New York Knicks (Home)

Head Coach: David Fizdale {All-Time 60-94 | MEM, NYK}

The New York Knicks are still very much at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. With a record of 10-43, the Knicks are nowhere near competing status and seem to be holding out to see who will be takers for their buy-out candidates.

The Knicks are winless in their last fourteen matches and are all but masking their ineptitude with statements of development and progress in place of the dreaded “tanking” label.

The Knicks have already waived Wes Matthews (who has signed with the Pacers) and are likely to release more of their more tenured players. They take on the Raptors who may or may not be with new acquisition Marc Gasol, so the inclusion of DeAndre Jordan will help their defence.

What’s At Stake?

In this classic Atlantic Division matchup the Toronto Raptors and the New York Knicks have been fairly competitive. In the all-time series, the Toronto Raptors lead the New York Knicks 49-41.

A win for the Toronto Raptors would place them a mere game behind the Bucks for first in the Eastern Conference.

At the bottom of the Eastern Conference, a win or loss for the New York Knicks would keep them fifteenth in the table.

Questions to answer

Did the Raptors ruin their depth?

Who is next to go for the Knicks?

We are going to compare the Toronto Raptors and the New York Knicks in an attempt to see who has the advantage in this matchup.

The Raptors Lost Five Players and Gained One

Going into the NBA Trade Deadline the Raptors were one of the most aggressive teams going forward. Looking to boost their chances at a championship, the Raptors seemed primed to get into the Anthony Davis Sweepstakes.

In a surprising turn of events the Raptors acquired Marc Gasol from the Memphis Grizzlies and in the process lost Valanciunas, Wright, and Miles – all players who average more than 14 minutes per game.

Gasol is certainly a talent but the Raptors’ trades leave them with 11 active players on their roster – two of whom are on two-way contracts. Once touting a dangerous reserve attack, the Raptors are now all-in on the abilities of their top players. It will be interesting to see how the Raptors fill their roster with whoever is left on the buy-out market.

The Knicks Waived Wes Matthews After Two Games

The trade of F Kristaps Porzingis was certainly a surprise to fans across the NBA. What they received in return though wasn’t too bad all things considered. After two games though, the Knicks waived veteran Wes Matthews and it seems more buy-outs will occur.

The New York Knicks are a tanking team. They are clearly doing everything they can to secure top position in the upcoming NBA Draft and having capable players who can win them games isn’t conducive to that plan.

Most likely parties for a buy-out are centres DeAndre Jordan and Enes Kanter. Both are skilled in their own position, but offer too much and are too valuable to rot on the bench of the New York Knicks. Don’t be surprised to see them in another teams jersey within the next two weeks.

Toronto Raptors Roster Notes

The Toronto Raptors have no injuries of note.

New York Knicks Roster Notes

G Emmanuel Mudiay – 25 Jan 2019 – Out (Left shoulder) – The Knicks announced that Mudiay is dealing with a left shoulder strain. He will miss at least the next two weeks and will be re-evaluated after that time.

G Frank Ntilikina – 5 Feb 2019 – Day To Day (Groin) – The Knicks have listed Ntilikina as OUT for Tuesday’s game (Feb. 5) against the Pistons.

Head-to-Head: Kyle Lowry vs Dennis Smith Jr

Kyle Lowry

Point Guard | 6-1, 196lb (185cm, 88kg) | Villanova | Exp. 12 Years

14.2 PPG | 9.2 APG | 4.4 RPG | 1.4 SPG | 0.5 BPG | 2.8 TOV | .410 FG% | .326 3P%

Dennis Smith Jr

Point Guard | 6-3, 195lb (190cm, 88kg) | NC State | Exp. 1 Years

13.1 PPG | 6.0 APG | 4.0 RPG | 0.5 SPG | 0.5 BPG | 3.0 TOV | .412 FG% | .328 3P%

The Toronto Raptors’ leading playmaker Kyle Lowry faces off against the New York Knicks’ Dennis Smith Jr in what will surely be an electric matchup between two of the Atlantic Divisions most dynamic point guards

Kyle Lowry is now the longest tenured Toronto Raptor left on the roster. While rumours of him being traded were in the mind of everyone near deadline day, the Raptors chose to keep their leader. Lowry is an excellent distributor – averaging 9.2 assists per game – but has struggled with his shot all season long. In his career Lowry averages 15.8 PPG and 6.4 APG against the Knicks. It will be up to Smith Jr to slow him down.

Dennis Smith Jr has regained some new life now that he is wearing a Knicks uniform. In two games with the Knicks Smith Jr has averaged 16.5 PPG and 6.0 APG. It is a small sample, but Smith Jr is finally playing with the ball in his hands and is looking like the dynamic scoring force he was projected to be. Facing off will Lowry will be difficult for the young guard. Lowry is a craft veteran known to use his savviness to take advantage of inexperienced players. Smith Jr will have to challenge him on both ends if the Knicks want to succeed.

Toronto Raptors at New York Knicks Predictions and Odds

The odds makers have the Toronto Raptors favoured over the New York Knicks by 9.5, with an over/under of 109.