The Toronto Raptors and the Dallas Mavericks will both be gunning for a victory on 3/25/2017 at 8:35 PM when they meet in a game matchup.
Toronto Raptors vs Dallas Mavericks
When: 8:30 PM ET, Saturday, March 25, 2017
Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
|507||Toronto Raptors||-2 (-110)||194.5 (-110)||105
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, TSN (Toronto), FSN Southwest (Dallas)
PREDICTION: Raptors 101, Mavericks 97
Pick: Take Toronto @ 2 -115
Oddsmakers currently have the DALLAS listed as -2 point favorites versus the TORONTO, while the game’s total is sitting at 194.5.
DALLAS — With his team’s playoff odds shrinking, Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle is quickly transitioning into experimentation mode with a young and fluid roster to get a head start on next season.
He put together a starting lineup Thursday night that included deadline acquisition Nerlens Noel at center and Seth Curry, who earned his way into the starting lineup as a shooting guard, at point guard. The lineup paid immediate dividends in a 97-95 victory over a Los Angeles Clippers team that had plenty to play for as it tries to catch the No. 4-seed Utah Jazz.
Curry led all scorers with 23 points and Noel had eight points and 12 rebounds matched against Clippers center DeAndre Jordan.
Afterward, Carlisle said he plans to give Curry, the younger brother of Golden State Warriors superstar Steph Curry, an extended look at point guard, where undrafted rookie Yogi Ferrell had unseated veteran Deron Williams. It’s likely Noel could also remain in the starting lineup Saturday night when the Mavericks (31-40) face the Toronto Raptors’ big front line in the third game of a four-game homestand.
“We’re going to give this a look. I don’t know how many games it’s going to be. It may be the rest of the year, it may not. It may be a couple — we’ll see,” Carlisle told reporters. “There’s a certain aptitude and understanding of the game that goes with being a point guard. He’s demonstrated those abilities on a lot of occasions, but until we put the ball in his hands and really take a look at it, we’re not going to know for sure. Now is the time to do it.”
Meanwhile, Ferrell, who has quickly become a fan favorite, found himself moved to the bench on the night he was awarded the NBA’s Rookie of the Month award for February. Carlisle said he sees Ferrell as a great “utility” player and joked about Ferrell’s demotion coming at the same time he received his award: “No good deed goes unpunished in this league.”
The Raptors (43-29) will be looking to punish the Mavs the way they did in a 100-78 victory just a couple weeks ago in Toronto. The win kicked off a stretch of five wins in six games, including four consecutive victories entering Saturday’s game.
A win over Dallas to end a quick two-game road trip would set up the Raptors for a four-game homestand against all Eastern Conference competition, and just one playoff team, Indiana.
Dallas will be searching for a way to slow Raptors All-Star DeMar DeRozan, who is coming off consecutive 40-point games, and blitzed the Mavs for 25 points on 10-of-17 shooting in the first matchup earlier this month.
The Raptors came from 15 points down to beat the Heat on Thursday, something that seemed to please coach Dwane Casey.
“It talks about toughness, heart,” Casey told reporters after the game. “Our give-a-crap level is pretty high, and it’s one of those things where when you count us out, we find a way. My thing is just find five men who are going to play hard.”