The 2020-21 NBA season will get underway on 22nd December with multiple exciting matchups for the fans to look forward to. On Wednesday, the Toronto Raptors take on the New Orleans Pelicans in a battle between a veteran-laden team versus the next generation of stars.
Check out the NBA schedule for the first half of the season here.
Fixture - Toronto Raptors vs. New Orleans Pelicans | 2020-21 NBA Season
Date & Time - Wednesday, December 23rd, 7:30 PM ET (Thursday, December 24th, 6:00 AM IST)
Location - Amalie Arena, Tampa, FL
For the first time in his career, Zion Williamson will be playing in his team’s first game of the season after missing opening night last year due to an injury he suffered in preseason. But the Toronto Raptors will try to make it a nightmare experience for the 6-foot-6 forward as Pascal Siakam aims to prove that his All-Star selection last season wasn’t a fluke.
Toronto Raptors Preview
The Toronto Raptors were within a game of advancing to the NBA Eastern Conference Finals last season but it wasn’t meant to be. They will be fired up to make up for the lost opportunity with a solid performance in their opening night game.
Coach Nick Nurse will have his troops ready during a season of change as they move forward with a new frontcourt replacing the duo of Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka who signed with the LA Lakers and LA Clippers, respectively.
Key Player - Pascal Siakam
After winning the 2018-19 NBA Most Improved Player award, Pascal Siakam became an All-NBA Second Team member last season, posting career-highs across the board including an average of 22.9 points per contest.
The 2020 postseason wasn’t too good for Siakam so he should be extra motivated to play this game as sort of a bounce-back game. All-Star guard Kyle Lowry will back him to make sure that his fellow All-Star takes his game to the next level.
Toronto Raptors Predicted Lineup
G Kyle Lowry G Norman Powell F OG Anunoby F Pascal Siakam C Aron Baynes
New Orleans Pelicans Preview
Everyone wants to talk about Zion Williamson but the New Orleans Pelicans are more than just a one-man team. For starters, they have first-time NBA All-Star Brandon Ingram who found that there’s life outside of the LA Lakers when he landed in New Orleans last year.
Lonzo Ball will orchestrate the offense and lead the Pelicans’ attack. With coach Stan Van Gundy at the helm, the New Orleans Pelicans will be an up-and-coming team looking to take down the league’s top squads such as the Toronto Raptors.
Key Player - Zion Williamson
After missing most of his rookie season due to injury and load management, Zion Williamson is preparing to unleash his fury on every team in his way this season.
In the 2020-21 NBA preseason, Williamson led the league in scoring at 28.5 points per game after two matches.
That is likely going to be his season average. Now that there are no longer any restrictions on his playing time, Zion Williamson could play between 33 to 36 minutes a night starting with the game against the Toronto Raptors.
New Orleans Pelicans Predicted Lineup
G Lonzo Ball G Josh Hart F Brandon Ingram F Zion Williamson C Steven Adams
Raptors vs Pelicans Match Prediction
The New Orleans Pelicans look really good on paper but the Toronto Raptors have experience and a no-nonsense group of wily veterans on their side.
After a feeling-out process at the beginning with the two teams struggling to find their groove, expect the Raptors to pull away in the fourth quarter and win this NBA game.
Where to Watch Raptors vs Pelicans?
The Toronto Raptors vs. New Orleans Pelicans game will be shown locally via TSN and Fox Sports New Orleans, and will be shown live on NBA League Pass as well.Published 21 Dec 2020, 23:01 IST