The Toronto Raptors hope to continue their winning ways on the road tonight against the Phoenix Suns!
The Toronto Raptors will hit the court at Phoenix tonight in the fourth game of their seven-game Western conference trip. They have been on a roll lately and have already won two out of their first three games on this road trip, with a crucial 123-105 win against Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday. Who knows? Maybe, the Toronto Raptors are just starting to peak at the right time. Only if we can continue this streak and stay hot against the Phoenix Suns tonight.
Tonight’s game is sure to be a battle between two passionate teams playing competitively poised basketball, where marksmanship and tenacity in defence reign supreme. While both teams feature excellent scorers, tonight’s clash may come down to which team can control ball possession, establish more fast break opportunities, limit turnovers, force missed shots and play smarter down the stretch while minimizing crucial mistakes.
The Suns are getting hot again, even without their superstar in the lineup!
The Phoenix Suns have seen a resurgence as of late.
In their last seven games, they've gone 6-1 and came off a massive win over the San Antonio Spurs in overtime on Saturday.
Chris Paul had 31 points, and 10 assists, and Mikal Bridges and Deandre Ayton added 25 and 23 points, respectively, to help seal the 128-118 victory.
There is now more than just Devin Booker on this team, as he is currently sidelined with a groin injury. Within their past five wins, six players on the Suns have scored at least 20 points each - showing that they can produce without a one-star player leading the way. This depth can be very helpful in close situations where one or two players may have an off day, and someone needs to step up. It'll certainly be beneficial for tonight's matchup against the Raptors as well because it helps creates versatility in different lineups and allows them to adapt quickly based on who has the hot hand.
This multi-faceted approach is paying off for them, allowing them to compete with some of the top teams in the West despite not having their All-NBA, Devin Booker, on their roster as usual contenders do.
"It's just the confidence level, us playing that hard," Ayton noted during his postgame media availability on Saturday.
Precious Achiuwa is here to save the season for the Raptors!
Precious Achiuwa is playing as a man possessed. After missing 24 games due to an ankle injury, the Raptors forward has been on a tear since rejoining the lineup. He's started three of the past five contests and has posted four double-doubles in his past five games. Most recently, he recorded 27 points and 13 rebounds against the Trail Blazers for his seventh consecutive game scoring at least 11 points - marking his fourth double-double in that span. This is how Precious is transforming the Raptors' season with his relentless on-court energy and determination.
It looks like things are finally beginning to slow down for Achiuwa during this stretch, and he is getting into better shape with each game played. Coach Nick Nurse even believes this stretch of play is surpassing what happened around last season's All-Star break! Not only is Achiuwa producing double-doubles, but the consistency with which he shows up despite his injury makes it so that the team can rely on him to perform night in and night out.
Achiuwa is averaging a double-double (18.4 PPG, 10.2 RPG) over the last five games, while Toronto jumped all over Portland on Saturday, leading by 23 points after the first quarter. The defence was outstanding against both the Kings and Blazers, mixed with a letdown in Golden State, but Achiuwa topped all with a career-high 27 points against the Blazers, showing his fantastic potential to grow and improve as he plays. Achiuwa is showing just why his potential needs to be fully harnessed for the team to reach its best.
This has not been a season to remember for the Raptors fans, but it's not over! not yet!
Hope remains. We can still make this a season to remember.
The team has shown early signs that better days are around the corner. With a solid game plan and additional talent near the trade deadline, the team could make a run for the playoffs. We can still put together a winning team and salvage our price in the process.
It would take some hard work and unwavering belief from fans and players alike to drive this team forward into post-season contention.
Then again, anything is possible; the Raptors still have time on their side.
Facing down injuries, lack of depth and uncertainty, it’s been an uphill battle for Toronto all season long. However, no one should count them out until it's all said and done—with courage and optimism bolstered by confidence in every player's abilities, perhaps they can still turn things around as they enter an important stretch of games before February's trade deadline.
Let's get this one - Let's go, Raptors!!!!