The Phoenix Suns continue their Eastern Conference road trip and head to Tampa to take on the Toronto Raptors. It appears as though the Raptors have accepted their fate and are going to intentionally tank this season. They are 18-26 with the 7th-worst record in the NBA and recently traded Norman Powell, who has having a career-year for the team.
Meanwhile, the Phoenix Suns are flying high with the 2nd-best record in the West. The backcourt of Chris Paul and Devin Booker is thriving and continues to give players a run for their money.
Fixture: Phoenix Suns vs Toronto Raptors | NBA Season 2020-21.
Date & Time: Friday, March 26th; 7:30 PM ET (Saturday, March 27th; 5:00 AM IST).
Venue: Amalie Arena, Tampa, FL.
Toronto Raptors Preview
The Toronto Raptors have been one of the more disappointing sides this season. They won the 2019 NBA title and then battled their way to 7 games in the 2020 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. But their fortunes have taken a massive dip this year. The chances of the Raptors missing out on the postseason are extremely high as they sit at the 11th spot in the Eastern Conference.
As mentioned earlier, the Toronto Raptors traded Normal Powell to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for Gary Trent Jr. and Rodney Hood. Powell was having a career-high season this year, averaging 19.6 points per game and shooting at nearly 44% from the three.
The Toronto Raptors' chances of climbing up the ladder have been reduced with the loss of a near 20ppg scorer. Although Gary Trent Jr. has a lot of promise and is developing at a great pace, the Toronto Raptors' 2020-21 campaign seems to be a foregone conclusion.
Key Player - Fred VanVleet
Fred VanVleet is probably the best offensive player on the Toronto Raptors. Although Pascal Siakam scores nearly the same number of points per game, VanVleet also dishes out the second-most dimes and grabs the highest steals on the team. With the Raptors making changes to their roster, their long-term plan is to build around VanVleet and Siakam.
Toronto Raptors Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Kyle Lowry | Shooting Guard - Fred VanVleet | Small Forward - DeAndre Bembry | Power Forward - OG Anunoby | Center - Pascal Siakam
Phoenix Suns Preview
The Phoenix Suns are legitimate title contenders this season. The addition of Chris Paul has done wonders for the squad and they now sit at the 2nd spot in the Western Conference. They have won 19 of their last 24 games and Devin Booker continues to look unstoppable. However, 3 of those 5 losses have come in the past two weeks and the Suns need to avoid falling into a slump at this point in the season, especially with the other teams in the stacked West knocking at their doors.
The Phoenix Suns are coming off an unfortunate one-point loss to the Orlando Magic. However, five of their next six games are against teams below .500, and the Suns should be able to continue their dominant form.
Key Player - Devin Booker
Devin Booker is on his way to becoming a superstar in this league. The young guard is the only active player in the league with a 70-point game and that is not the only record he holds. He is currently averaging 25.1 points per game and Chris Paul's playmaking genius allows him to get quality looks. He also grabs the second-most steals and dishes out the second-most dimes on the Phoenix Suns.
Phoenix Suns Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Chris Paul | Shooting Guard - Devin Booker | Small Forward - Mikal Bridges | Power Forward - Jae Crowder | Center - Deandre Ayton
Suns vs Raptors Match Prediction
The Phoenix Suns are overwhelming favorites to win this matchup against the struggling Toronto Raptors. The Suns' starting lineup is healthy and they should dominate the game from the get-go.
The two teams met earlier in the season in an exciting matchup. Seven players on the Phoenix Suns scored in double-digits to lead the team to a 123-115 victory, while the Raptors' Siakam and Lowry combined for 56 points.
Where to watch the Suns vs Raptors game?
The Phoenix Suns vs Toronto Raptors game will have local coverage on FOX Sports Arizona and SN Network. The match can also be streamed live with an NBA League Pass.