NBA 2018-19: Predicted Starting Lineups and Match Prediction - Houston Rockets vs Toronto Raptors
The Raptors dropped their last match in overtime against the Detroit Pistons with Kawhi Leonard sitting out. Despite that loss, they have been one of the best teams in the NBA this season. Their 46-18 win-loss record is the second best in the entire NBA. They also have one of the easiest schedules remaining for the season.
Fred VanVleet is going to miss this match for the Raptors while Kawhi Leonard is expected to come back into the starting line up. Leonard has been absolutely superb for the Raptors, impacting matches on both ends. He is averaging 27 points per game for the season and leads the team in scoring.
The Rockets have also started playing better basketball with most of their players returning from injury layoffs. Harden has been in scorching form. He dropped 42 points in the last match in a win at the Celtics. The Rockets also won the earlier season matchup between the two teams with Harden scoring 35 points.
The Rockets have a 38-25 record for the season and are the 5th best team in the Western Conference. They reached the Western Conference finals last year and were one game shy of beating the Warriors. With the last phase of the regular season remaining, they would love to get back their form from last season.
Let's have a look at the predicted starting lineups for the two teams:
Houston Rockets: Chris Paul (PG), Eric Gordon (SG), James Harden (SF), P.J. Tucker (PF), Clint Capela (C).
Toronto Raptors: Kyle Lowry (PG), Danny Green (SG), Kawhi Leonard (SF), Pascal Siakam (PF), Marc Gasol (C).
The Raptors will have Kawhi Leonard back for this match. The Rockets are a very good team but the Raptors seem to have better talent this year. The Raptors also have the home advantage for this match.
I predict the Raptors to win in a very close encounter against the Rockets.