The San Antonio Spurs can win because…
The Raps are just child’s play. Sure, they can beat a team like the Lakers but they aren’t good enough to beat anyone elite – let alone the Spurs. Toronto’s wins have all come against bottom feeders like Boston, Milwaukee, Washington, Philadelphia and Utah. Beyond that, the Raps are just 3-6 at home on the season. While the Gay trade is likely to make this team better in the long run, it’s hard to say that this team will be better right now. You can’t remove a player who averages about 20 points per game off the team and expect to be better.
The Toronto Raptors can win because…
On Sunday night, after the Raps pulled the trigger on a blockbuster deal to trade their second-leading scorer, they went into the Staples Center and handled Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers 106-94. Losing Gay isn’t that big of a deal. Sure, on paper, he was the team’s second-leading scorer but he was also a ball hog who was shooting a career-worst 38.8% from the floor. His presence has stunted the growth of players like Jonas Valanciunas, Terrence Ross and Landry Fields. With him out of the picture, expect those guys – and others – to step up. Case and point: on Sunday night, Amir Johnson dropped a career-high 32 points. There are other capable bodies on this team and now that Gay isn’t shooting the ball 19 times per game, they’ll play better team basketball and get the job done.
Outlook & Pick
The Spurs are a seven-point road favorite on the NBA odds for a reason. Simply put, Toronto isn’t a good team to begin with, they aren’t a good home team and they struggle when facing elite teams. All of those factors will lead to a Spurs win and cover, so add them to your Tuesday NBA picks. The Raps are clearly a team in transition.
Pick: Spurs -7 at BetOnline