The Raptors won the NBA Championship in 2019 but have since been on the decline due to their star players taking their talents elsewhere. We have seen this story play out before with the Cleveland Cavaliers and more recently with the Golden State Warriors. The Toronto Raptors' best hope now is to find a way to claw back in with a few wins and get momentum behind them.
For the Phoenix Suns, it has been an eventful start to the season. Coming into this matchup, they are tied for the best record in the Western Conference.
As it stands now, the Phoenix Suns have seven players averaging in double digits, led by their energetic shooting guard Devin Booker with 21 points per game. The Suns continue to play at a high level, and barring any major injuries, could go deep into the playoffs this season.
Fixture: Toronto Raptors vs Phoenix Suns - NBA Season 2020-21
Date & Time: Tuesday, January 6th, 2021 9:00 PM ET. (Thursday 7:30 AM IST)
Venue: Phoenix Suns Arena, Phoenix, Arizona.
Nothing seems to be going right for the Toronto Raptors this season. They are at the bottom end of the Eastern Conference and will be eager to end their nightmare start.
The Raptors lost important pieces in the off-season, as their leading big men Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol decided to take their talents to the LA Clippers and the LA Lakers respectively. Furthermore, they are playing their home games in Tampa, effectively losing their home-court advantage in the process.
The Raptors are coming in with a loss to the Boston Celtics 126-114. The Toronto Raptors played well offensively but failed to contain an aggressive Celtics side who outscored them 33-26 in the final quarter.
Fred VanVleet was the Raptors' knight in shining armor, leading their effort with 35 points, eight rebounds and five assists in 33 minutes.
Key Player - Fred VanVleet
Fred VanVleet agreed to a deal with the Toronto Raptors recently and has been giving them their money's worth so far.
The 26-year-old guard has taken over as the Raptors' leader on the floor and has been striving hard to bring them out of their early-season rout. Coming into this matchup, Fred could be the key player who could turn things around for the Toronto Raptors.
His season averages are 21.8 points, 5.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists in 35 minutes per game. He is shooting at 44.3% from the field and 39% from the deep.
Toronto Raptors' Predicted Lineup
G Kyle Lowry, G Fred VanVleet, F OG Anunoby, F Pascal Siakam, C Aron Baynes.
Phoenix Suns Preview
The Phoenix Suns enter this contest off a loss to the soaring LA Clippers 112-107. The game saw Paul George lighting up from the floor, ending things with a game-high 39 points.
For the Suns, it was the usual suspect Devin Booker dropping 25 points to go with eight assists and five boards. However, their key player was their center Deandre Ayton who brought his side back into the game. He did so with a dunk off a missed shot before the Clippers' Nicolas Batum sank a corner three to give his team a 6-point lead that sealed the game.
The Suns will no doubt come back with a punch in their matchup against a struggling Raptors side.
Key Player - Chris Paul
Phoenix Suns had one of the best off-seasons, as they brought in Chris Paul over to their side.
CP3 brings veteran leadership both on and off the court and is expected to set an example for his fellow teammates. Going into their matchup with the Toronto Raptors, Paul will look forward to bouncing back with another win and improving the Suns' season standings.
Chris Paul is averaging 13.4 points, 8.3 assists and 4.7 rebounds in 29.9 minutes per game this season. He could have another all-around game on Wednesday night.
Phoenix Suns' Predicted Lineup
G Chris Paul, G Devin Booker, F Mikal Bridges, F Jae Crowder, C Deandre Ayton.
Raptors vs Suns Match Prediction
Even after losing their star players, the Toronto Raptors still possess enough talent on their roster to get back to winning ways. However, looking at their underwhelming record this season, it is difficult to choose them as the winners, especially in an away game.
The Phoenix Suns are the heavy favorites to take this one, as they are at the top of the Western Conference.
Where to watch Raptors vs Suns?
Local coverage of the game will be available on Fox Sports Arizona and Sportsnet. You can also live stream the game via the NBA League Pass.Published 06 Jan 2021, 01:15 IST