The battle to finish in a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference looks one that is set to go down to the wire in the NBA this season. One side that will be expecting to claim a spot in the required positions are the Toronto Raptors, and they come up against the Houston Rockets on Friday night.
Raptors Looking To End Losing Run
The Toronto Raptors had been on an excellent run of form before games against the Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat this week. Toronto had won four straight games, which two back-to-back victories against the Milwaukee Bucks and a win against the Sixers. The Raptors still look to be in an excellent position to finish in a playoff spot this season, as their win percentage of .485 compares well the sides around them. However, the Raptors will be looking to get back into their best form this weekend, as they could finish higher in the standings this season and set up a more straightforward route in the playoffs.
Toronto were beaten by the Heat in their last NBA game, which was also Miami’s fourth straight win in the NBA. A poor showing in the second quarter of that game, which saw the Raptors outscored 34-21 was ultimately the difference in that game, as the Heat were able to see out the game with few problems in the end. Toronto had started the game the better of the two sides, as they outscored the Heat 35-32. Fred VanVleet and Kyle Lowry led the Raptors in the defeat, as they both scored 24 points. Meanwhile, Chris Boucher had 11, OG Anunoby had 14 and Normal Powell finished with 17.
Rockets In Miserable Form
The NBA season can’t come to a close quick enough for the Houston Rockets this term, as they are looking to avoid finishing bottom of the Western Conference. Their current losing streak ensures that they are in the worst form in the NBA at present, as they have lost their last nine. The Rockets are certainly going to rebuild during the off-season, as they obviously didn’t prepare for losing James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets midway through the season. It looks unlikely that they will finish at the foot of the Western Conference, as they have already won four more games than the Minnesota Timberwolves this term.
Houston were beaten for the ninth game running by the Cleveland Cavaliers, who claimed a 112-96 victory. The Rockets were outscored in three of the four quarters. John Wall led the Rockets with 20 points in the defeat, while Victor Oladipo and Eric Gordon both finished the game with 17 apiece.
Toronto Raptors vs Houston Rockets Pick
The Rockets aren’t showing any signs that they are going to recover their form, and the Raptors are looking more and more like a playoff team with the latter that the season gets. For those two reasons, it looks unlikely to see anything other than a Toronto win on Friday night.