Lowry banged up, but still
leaving a mark
Kyle Lowry may be finally getting some recognition as one of the most underrated players in the NBA, because not only does this guy score 20 points and get 8 assists a night, but he plays some great defense against almost any opposing point guard. That has been the case this series against Deron Williams, and despite Lowry’s bruised knee, tonight’s NBA Odds have the Raptors as -3 favorites at BetOnline, with a total of 190 ½.
Lowry has held Williams to under 40% shooting in this series, and even though he is a little banged up, he limited Williams to 10 points in Game 4. The entire Nets’ offense was out of sync in Game 4 outside of Paul Pierce, and going on the road into Toronto isn’t going to help them get going. The Nets haven’t looked great over their last two games, and it could be one of the reasons why the Raptors have covered their last two games against the Nets.
Another key player in this series has been the emergence as DeMar DeRozan, who is once again proving his All Star status was far from a fluke, unlike the guy who has been trying and failing at defending him, Joe Johnson. The combo of DeRozan and Lowry are leaving their mark on this series, and I think they will be a crucial reason why the Raptors cover the spread here in Game 5 at home.
The Sharp Pick
Even though they have split the last two games of this series SU, the Raptors have covered both games, and I think they can cover -3 here tonight. They are 2-1-1 ATS in this series so far, and they have clearly stepped up their defense to how it played at times this regular season. If this team is engaged defensively, their size in the post and perimeter scoring is enough to beat the Nets. Brooklyn has been somewhat exposed in this series, and losing Brook Lopez might be too much to overcome for this team this season.
Brooklyn only shot 41% from the floor in Game 4 at home, and their offense is not going to miraculously get much better on the road in Toronto. I’m sure Rob Ford’s presence at courtside is going to have some voodoo effect on the Nets players, and that alone is enough to make me lay the few points with the Raptors!
This game will be won or lost in the hands of the guards of both teams. With how well Lowry and DeRozan are playing, it’s hard for me to not like them laying just -3 at home. Brooklyn is starting to be exposed through their lack of a paint presence, and the Raptors are just big tough enough to make it hard for Brooklyn to get to the basket, or rebound. Toronto is +36 in rebounding this series, and I see them continuing that on Wednesday night in route to a win and cover ATS.
My Pick: Raptors -3