Just over two weeks has passed since these teams faced each other in the opening game of the 2019/20 NBA campaign. It is still early on in the new season but it looks like Toronto and New Orleans will be competing at opposite ends of their respective conferences.
The Pelicans are currently rooted to the foot of the Western Conference standings after just one win from their opening seven games. New Orleans are in desperate need of a boost and victory here could be the catalyst for a positive run of form.
At the other end of the spectrum, Toronto are flying high in the East – the Raptors are fifth at the time of writing. Nick Nurse’s side have hit the ground running after winning the NBA title last year, securing victory in five of their seven NBA matches in 2019/20.
Their road form will be key to any outside hopes of retaining the NBA crown this year. As of November 7th, Toronto have a 1-2 record away from Scotiabank Arena and a sub .500 record simply won’t do long term. A win here is an absolute must given New Orleans’ woes.
Without further ado, it is time to take a look at Toronto’s upcoming clash. The Raptors will be quietly confident of coming out on top – and with good reason. Losing to the 15th ranked side in the West isn’t good enough and the Raptors will be determined to avoid an upset.
Event Date: November 8, 2019
Pelicans Set For Tough 2019/20 Campaign
It has been a tough start to the new season for the Pelicans. At the beginning of the year, New Orleans fans fancied their chances of competing at the business end of the season but a tough season awaits if their first seven games are anything to go by.
Their form at Smoothie King Center will be key to their chances of climbing the NBA rankings this season. Having played just three home games, the Pelicans haven’t had a proper chance to build any sort of momentum in front of their own fans.
Write Toronto Off At Your Peril
The Raptors were dismissed by some basketball fans prior to the opening fixture of the year but you won’t find too many NBA followers writing Toronto off now. It would be foolish to state that the Raptors are favourites to retain the title but a playoff berth looks likely.
Pascal Siakam has stepped up to the plate in recent weeks, leading the team in points per game and rebounds per game. Toronto needed players to perform well after Kawhi Leonard left the team this summer and Nurse will be relatively satisfied at this stage of the year.
At the time of writing, 888Sport are pricing the Raptors at 40/1 to retain the NBA title this season. It will take a monumental effort from Toronto to challenge at the business end of the campaign but if anyone can do it, Nurse’s Raptors can. Watch this space…
The schedule has been relatively kind to Toronto so far this season and this game offers the Raptors a chance to build momentum with a convincing success. New Orleans have failed to inspire confidence all season and the Raptors can secure a big road win to send a statement to the chasing pack.
Ultimately, NBA glory remains the aim for Toronto after last year. While most fans will admit that retaining the title is just a dream for now, the Raptors could embark on a solid run with a bit of luck and it would be foolish to rule them out.
TIP: Toronto to win by 11-15 points
CORRECT SCORE: New Orleans Pelicans 98-111 Toronto Raptors