The Raptors have made their point heard, they are back and they are ready for playoff basketball this season. They have really had to fight compared to other post season teams who have the all-star or the hall a fame players, this Canadian team has none of the above, but they win and that’s good enough right now to be on the same level. This is the last game against the Rockets for Toronto and they know they have to win this game, a win here will give them all the confidence they need to make an impact in late June.
The Raptors fell short in double overtime against the Rockets back in early November, they will keep the game close but in the end I don’ t see them having the defensive answer to stop Houston from pulling away. They need to prove to themselves they can beat a team like Houston, a win could send their momentum through the roof while a lose could send them in a down word spiral. Looks for this team to be as aggressive as ever, fighting under the rim for every ball and doubling on Harden and Howard, forcing someone else from the Rockets team to step up and be the one.
Houston knows they have the upper hand on Toronto but they cannot allow the Raptors to get the better of them at this point, the Rockets have not had the best second half to their season and momentum is something they are running short on. Howard will be the one that will take most of the work load, but I could see him getting frustrated with a constant double team. Houston cannot underestimate the Raptors and even though they are playing at home they have to be as high tempo as they can, because the Raptors are coming to make a run.
Pick: I like the Raptors in this game +6.5, I think they will keep it close, they might not win but they will play a hell of a game.