Toronto Raptors (3-2 3-2 ATS) vs. Dallas Mavericks (3-2 3-2 ATS) American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX 8:30 PM EST Saturday November 7, 2009
by Jason Green at Predictem.com
Point Spread: Raptors +8 / Mavericks -8
Tonight in the Big D the Dallas Mavericks host the Toronto Raptors. Both of these teams are 3-2 and Raptors are coming off a solid win last night while the Mavs lost their last game. The Raptors are on a 2 game winning streak and they look to forget about last season when they did not make the playoffs. The Mavs have won 10 straight against the Raptors at home and they are big favorites to make it 11 tonight. However, this may be the game for the Raptors to snap the streak since Dallas is banged up and dealing with a few injuries. This game features a match up of 2 of the best power forwards in the game in Chris Bosh and Dirk Nowitzki and each has started the season on fire.
In their last game the Raptors beat the New Orleans Hornets in the Big East last night 107-90. The high scorer in this game for Toronto was Chris Bosh going for 27 points on a perfect shooting night going 9/9 from the floor. For the game the Raptors shot well going 39/77 from the floor for a legit FG% of 50.6%. On D the Raptors allowed the Hornets to shoot 36/75 for a FG% of 48%.
In their last game the Mavericks lost to the New Orleans Hornets 114-107 in OT. The high scorer for the Mavs in this game was super-6th man Jason Terry going for 35 points on 12/18 shooting including hitting 4 of his 8 3-pointers. For the game the Mavs shot 39/85 for a FG% of 45.9%. On D the Mavs allowed the Hornets to shoot 46/92 from the floor for a FG% of 50%.
This season the Raptors rank 3rd in scoring (108.5 ppg) and the Mavs rank 20th (96.2 ppg). On defense the Mavs rank 9th in terms of points allowed (93 ppg) and the Raptors rank 24th (107.5 ppg). Dallas is a better team on the boards with a rebound differential of +2.6 rpg while Toronto is at -0.8 rpg.
Nowitzki has to bounce back from his poor performance, which was his 1st of the season, in his last game only going for 12 points on 4/15 shooting against New Orleans.
The Raptors are lighting up the scoreboard this season, but they are also one of the worst defensive teams in the league. If they allow Jason Kidd to run up and down the floor and score and dish at will they will be in trouble. In last night’s game they did play better D only gave up 90 points including only 14 in the 3rd quarter.
Chris Bosh (29.5 ppg 13 rpg) is the leading rebounder for Toronto and he will need help tonight, as Nowitzki may draw him out of the lane. If Dirk is hitting his outside J it will also open up the lane for Shawn Marion, Jason Kidd, and Jason Terry to penetrate.
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One of the biggest surprises north of the border this season has been the play of C Andrea Bargnani (20.4 ppg 7.2 rpg). Erik Dampier has to play solid D on the big Italian and not allow him to have a big scoring game.
The Raptors are still learning how to play with new acquisition Hedo Turkoglu, but he is playing well averaging over 15 ppg and shooting over 47% from the floor.
The Mavs are still without Josh Howard, as even though he recently returned to practice he will not play in this game.
Dallas has to play good perimeter D tonight, as the Raptors are shooting 38% from beyond the 3-point arc.
Toronto likes to run and gun and if the Mavs can slow down the tempo they will have a better chance to win.
On the injury front SF Quinton Ross and PF’s Drew Gooden and Tim Thomas are day to day for the Mavs while the Raptors are not reporting any significant injuries.
Jason’s Pick: The Raptors are playing well and Bosh has been a monster this season. Toronto has not played well in the Big D and even though I see a close game they will not snap their 10 game losing streak tonight, as Nowitzki will bounce back and have a big game spurning the Mavs onto victory. However, in this game I would take the Raptors and the points.