If the NBA playoffs started today, the Toronto Raptors would be the second seed in the Eastern Conference, and the Brooklyn Nets would be the sixth seed, and on Monday night those two teams will go head-to-head.
Both teams are integrating new pieces into their rotation, as the Raptors shook things up at the trade deadline by acquiring veteran center Marc Gasol, and the Nets got a couple of players back recently after long layoffs due to injury issues.
The match-up between the Nets and Raptors is the third game of the regular season between the two teams, with the Atlantic Division rivals splitting the first two games. The two will also meet again in early April.
How to watch Nets at Raptors
Odds and analysis
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Nets: The Nets got some good news last week as Caris LeVert returned to action following a long stint on the sidelines due to a dislocated right ankle. They managed to remain in the playoff picture without him, and his return could prove to be a big boost for the team as they head toward the playoff push.
Raptors: The Raptors continue to roll toward the postseason and appear to be a lock for a top-two seed in the East, barring any major injury issues. The main goal for the Raptors for the remainder of the regular season is to get Marc Gasol comfortable with his new teammates and to remain healthy as a team.
Game prediction, pick
The line likes the Raptors in this one, and by a pretty wide margin. The home team won each of the first two games in the season series thus far, and that likely factored into the establishment of the line, as did the fact that the Raptors are one of the league’s best teams at home (22-5), while the Nets are under .500 (12-15 on the road). The Nets are scrappy and can keep it competitive, but I ultimately expect Toronto to take care of business and cover.
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