The Toronto Raptors have another big one coming up on Saturday.
No matter your perspective on things this season, the Raptors have another pivotal game set for Saturday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers. For those still hoping Toronto can sneak its way into the play-in tournament, the Cavaliers offer one of the few easier games still on the Raptors' schedule that ranks fifth-hardest in the NBA. Conversely, for those who keep checking the NBA's reverse standings and hoping the Raptors lose a few more games this year for better lottery odds, a loss to Cleveland would certainly help boost those odds.
As things sit heading into Saturday's action, the Raptors are a game back of Cleveland in the reverse standings. With a win and an Oklahoma City Thunder loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, Toronto would drop to eighth in the lottery standings, giving them a 26.2% chance at a top-four pick. On the other hand, a Raptors loss to the Cavaliers would have Toronto tied with the Washington Wizards for the fifth-worst record in the NBA and about a 40% chance at a top-four pick if the season ended Saturday.
The Raptors are, however,
2.5-point favourites two-point underdogs for Saturday, according to Covers, which can either be a good thing or a bad thing depending on how you'd like the rest of the season to play out.
Toronto has already ruled out Fred VanVleet, Jalen Harris, and Paul Watson Jr., though Kyle Lowry and Rodney Hood have both been upgraded to questionable. (UPDATE: Lowry is now doubtful and Pascal Siakam is out due to rest). For Cleveland, it'll be another night without Jarrett Allen who remains sidelined with a concussion.