Toronto Looks to Clinch Playoff Spot
The red-hot Atlanta Hawks try to keep their hopes of moving up and out of the Eastern Conference play-in tournament alive when they visit the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday night. Atlanta is eighth in the East standings, four games behind Toronto and the Chicago Bulls, who are tied for fifth, with four games to play.
The Raptors can clinch a spot in the East playoffs with a win, as they lead the seventh-place Cleveland Cavaliers by 3½ games with four to play. There is a lot at stake for both teams in this one, so check out our in-depth preview of this contest before you decide how to bet online.
Hawks Getting Contributions From Everyone
When most people think of the Atlanta Hawks, All-Star guard Trae Young comes to mind, as well he should. But the Hawks are thinking big in the postseason because of the depth they have, as was shown against the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday when their reserves outscored Brooklyn’s, 46-12. The “Bench Mob” has been giving Young and the Atlanta starters plenty of support.
“Our second group was really, really good,” Hawks head coach Nate McMillan said after Saturday’s win. “They were the difference in this game, stretching that lead in the first half, and then in the second half, they did the same thing.”
Guards Lou Williams, Delon Wright and Bogdan Bogdanovic and forwards Danilo Gallinari and Onyeka Okongwu have all been contributing on both ends of the floor, helping to make up for the loss of forward John Collins to injury. The Hawks are playing well no matter who’s on the floor as they look to repeat last season’s run to the Eastern Conference finals.
Of course, it does all start with Young, who is fifth in the NBA in scoring (28.3 points) and third in assists (9.6) while shooting 38.3 percent from 3-point range. Young is excellent at balancing his own offense and finding his teammates. The Hawks have scored at least 121 points in each of the five games on their current win streak.
Center Clint Capela is a force on the defensive end and on the boards, ranking fourth in the league in rebounding at 11.8 per game. Capela blocks just 1.3 shots per game, but his presence in the paint makes many players think twice about driving the lane.
Raptors Trying to Peak for Postseason
The Toronto Raptors had been getting healthy, but the loss of forward OG Anunoby to a thigh injury that forced him to miss Sunday’s game with the Miami Heat coincided with the end of the team’s five-game winning streak. Anunoby (17.3 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.5 steals) has played in just 47 games due to various ailments and he’s listed as questionable for Tuesday’s contest.
Forward Pascal Siakam has been as good as ever, leading the team with 22.4 points and 8.4 rebounds per game, with the latter average a career best for the 28-year-old. Siakam is also setting a career standard with 5.2 assists and is shooting 35.6 percent from 3-point range.
Guard Fred VanVleet has also dealt with various injuries this season, but he showed some All-Star form against the Heat, finishing with 29 points, seven assists and three steals. VanVleet is averaging 20.4 points and 6.6 assists, and he’ll need to have a big game to counteract Young in this one.
A positive for the Raptors of late has been guard Gary Trent Jr., who scored just 21 points over a two-game span early last week. Trent, who is averaging 18.1 points and shooting 38 percent from 3-point range, has scored at least 17 in each of the last three contests.
Hawks vs Raptors Head-to-Head
The Atlanta Hawks are looking to finish the four-game season series with the Toronto Raptors in a tie, having won the last meeting after Toronto took the first two matchups. Atlanta won by 27 at home in the most recent encounter in late February, with Young going for 41 points.
The last four seasons have seen one team sweeping the series, with Atlanta winning three straight in 2020-21, but Toronto coming out on top in 10 straight meetings from 2017-18 to 2019-20. Despite the Hawks’ hot streak, the NBA lines are giving the edge to the Raptors at home in this one.
Hawks vs Raptors Game Information
- Game: Hawks (41-37) vs Raptors (45-33)
- Location: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto
- Day/Time: Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. ET
- Hawks vs Raptors Live Stream: NBA Game Pass
Hawks vs Raptors Betting Lines
Hawks vs Raptors Prediction
Sunday’s loss aside, the Toronto Raptors are looking like they’re peaking just in time for the postseason, and they should have plenty of firepower to match up with the Atlanta Hawks in this one. Toronto’s defense was lacking in the loss to the Miami Heat, and coach Nick Nurse is going to have his team focused on that end in this one, which will spell the difference in the result.
When making your NBA picks, take Toronto to win and cover at home.