Article Written by Hudson Stewart (@hudson_stewart6)
After going 3-0 on a home-stand that featured Charlotte, Minnesota and Dallas as opponents, the Raptors will have some much harder tests this upcoming week.
Monday, the Raptors will play the Milwaukee Bucks, who are the only other undefeated team in the league. Milwaukee was expected to be a 4-6 seed in the East this year, but in my eyes they have the potential to be a top-3 team in the conference, and leapfrog Philadelphia who’s been disappointing so far this year. Speaking of the 76ers, that’s who the Raptors match up with on Tuesday night on the second half of a back-to-back.
The Milwaukee game will be especially interesting because it features the two best players in the conference; Kawhi Leonard and Giannis Antetokounmpo. These two play the same position as well, so we should see a lot of one on one battles between Kawhi and Giannis. I’d still say Kawhi is a bit better than Giannis, based off of his defense and experience in the league, but in a few years, that accolade will be Giannis’.
Given how good the Raptors have been over the first 6 games of the season, a loss in Milwaukee wouldn’t surprise me at all. You can expect a flat performance at some point, but the same could be said for the Bucks, who haven’t lost either. Ultimately, this game will probably come down to the wire, and a few keys plays will decide which way it goes.
My Prediction: Bucks Win 108-103
After the tough game in Milwaukee, the Raps will return home for another tough test against the struggling Philadelphia 76ers. Philly is only 3-3 on the year, and a road game in Toronto doesn’t bode well for improving that record. It’ll be interesting to see what the Raptors do defensively in this game, since Ben Simmons is sort of a point-forward. I assume Kawhi guards him, but then you’d probably have to put Lowry on a bigger play which could be problematic.
Last time the Raptors had a back-to-back, they rested Kawhi Leonard. But, it seems like they won’t do that this time around, which makes it even tougher for Philly to win this one. I think we’ll see Philly struggle again in this one, and it’ll be a big statement by the Raptors that the 76ers aren’t on their level just yet.
My Prediction: Raptors Win 116-101
After those two big Eastern Conference games, the Raptors will begin their Western Road Trip with a game in Phoenix against the rebuilding Suns. It’s hard to look too much into this game, because it’s not until Friday, but I don’t see the Raptors having any problem picking up the W on the road here.
My Prediction: Raptors Win 121-98
So I think the Raps will go 2-1 this week. They could easily go 3-0, but I feel like at least 1 loss in inevitable, and a road game against an undefeated team seems like a game that could be lost. Other than that though, I think the Raptors should cruise to wins against Philly and Phoenix, and finish the week 2-1, before playing LeBron and the Lakers on Sunday.
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