We’re about to discover what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object.
Can the Thunder (42-30, 19-18 away), who have the fourth best defensive rating in the NBA, impede the Raptors (51-21, 29-7 home), who have the league’s seventh best offensive rating? We’ll find out soon, as tip off time for this must-see game is 7:30 p.m. EST on Friday, March 22 at Scotiabank Arena.
The Raptors have been keeping statisticians very busy this season. They’re averaging 114.2 points per game on 44.0% shooting from the floor and 36.0% from behind the three-point line. Toronto ranks eighth in field goal percentage and eighth in three-point percentage in the league. They’ve received big contributions in 2018-19 from Kawhi Leonard, who is leading the Raptors with 27.0 points per game on 47.0% shooting, and Pascal Siakam, who is chipping in 16.6 points per game.
Their defense hasn’t been half bad either. The Raptors rank 10th in points allowed at 108.6 points per game, and are holding opponents to 45.0% from the field and 34.0% from beyond the arc. Toronto forces 15.2 turnovers per game and is 17th in the NBA in rebounding.
Great defense is the foundation on which the Thunder are built. They’re 15th in fewest points allowed at 111.1 points per contest, and are limiting opposing teams to just 45.0% from the field and 35.0% from beyond the arc. Oklahoma City forces 17 turnovers per game and is second in the NBA in rebounding at 48.2 per contest.
Unfortunately, Oklahoma City has a way to go before its offense catches up to its outstanding defense. The Thunder are generating 114.4 points on 43.0% shooting from the floor and 34.0% from downtown. They rank second in rebounds and 22nd in dimes.
These two teams have already met once this season. The last time they played on March 21st, 2019, Toronto won 123-114 behind 33 points from Pascal Siakam.
The Raptors are hot off of a 114-123 win to the Thunder in Oklahoma City in which they shot 14 for 36 from deep were out-rebounded 62-56. The Thunder are fresh off a 114-123 loss versus the Raptors in Oklahoma City in which they dished out 22 dimes and came up with six steals. Russell Westbrook paced the team with 42 points.
The Raptors began the day as 2.5-point favorites for this match up, with a robust over/under total of 227. Oklahoma City is 36-36-0 against the spread this year and 35-37-0 over/under, compared to 32-40-0 ATS and 41-31-0 over/under for Toronto.