Golden State Warriors vs Toronto Raptors 12/18/21: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Betting Odds, Live Stream

Golden State Warriors vs. Toronto Raptors Matchup Preview (12/18/21)

Golden State will travel internationally to take on the Raptors in Toronto for the second night of a road trip back-to-back. On Friday, the Warriors found out that Jordan Poole would have to enter the league’s health and safety protocol and thus, would be unavailable for their matchup against the Boston Celtics. Poole will likely have to sit out for the game against the Raptors, which is a big hit for Golden State as he is one of its secondary scorers. The Warriors were able to take a breath of fresh air against the New York Knicks after Steph Curry broke the all-time three-point record. The anticipation of Curry breaking the record was a lot to deal with in previous games, and it is evident that they all wanted it to be over, especially Steph. Now, Golden State can refocus on its season-long goals.
On the other hand, the Toronto Raptors have struggled greatly throughout the 2021-22 NBA season. As of mid-day on Friday, the Raptors are 13-15 and stand at 11th in the Eastern Conference. Even though the Raptors drafted a stud in Scottie Barnes, they still have not been able to capitalize at all. Toronto is a middle-of-the-road team, so an upset against the Warriors is not impossible, but it will take everything going in their favor to pull it off. Below is more of a game-specific analysis and thoughts on who is more likely to come out on top.

Golden State Warriors vs. Toronto Raptors Betting Odds

This game should be pretty close until the end. Golden State will probably be without Poole, while Toronto is without Anunoby. The bottom line is this: I like the Raptors’ first five guys, especially when Anunoby is in the lineup, but after that, you would be asking Dalano Banton, Svi Mykhailiuk, Yuta Watanabe, Justin Champagnie, and Malachi Flynn to compete for around 15-20 minutes with Gary Payton II, Damion Lee, Andre Iguodala, Juan Toscano-Anderson, Otto Porter Jr, and Nemanja Bjelica. I don’t trust that the Raptors can last the full 48 against the best team in the NBA with such rail-thin depth. I’m going with the Warriors ATS here.

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TV Schedule

Date: 12/18/21
Time: 7:30 PM ET
Arena: Scotiabank Center- Toronto, ON
Channel: NBA League Pass

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Golden State Warriors Starting Lineup

PG: Steph Curry
SG: Damion Lee
SF: Andrew Wiggins
PF: Draymond Green
C: Kevon Looney

Golden State Warriors Analysis

The Warriors will be without Jordan Poole for this matchup, so they need to get some scoring from other guys. Andrew Wiggins and Damion Lee are two guys that will need to step up to make sure that they can put enough points on the board. Luckily, even if the offense does not operate as efficiently without Poole, the Warriors’ elite defense should still help them secure a win. Golden State ranks first in defensive efficiency, by a wide margin, first in opponent points per game, and first in opponent eFG% (effective field goal percentage). Taking care of a Raptors offense that has struggled without Anunoby on the floor should not be a problem for the Warriors.

Toronto Raptors Starting Lineup

PG: Fred VanVleet
SG: Gary Trent Jr.
SF: Scottie Barnes
PF: Pascal Siakam
C: Chris Boucher

Toronto Raptors Analysis

The loss of O.G. Anunoby has been incredibly tough on the Toronto Raptors. Not only was Anunoby their leading scorer, but he was also an elite perimeter defender with terrific length and an exceptional level of switchability. Anunoby will be back at some point, but he should still be out for this game. There are also a few other players who may be out for this game as well, including big man Khem Birch and Precious Achiuwa. Until Toronto can get healthy, it will struggle in games like this because it just is not a solid enough offensive or defensive team yet.

Toronto Raptors Team Pages

Golden State Warriors vs. Toronto Raptors Daily Fantasy Picks

Jordan Poole was just placed in the league’s health and safety protocols, leaving the Warriors without one of their huge offensive contributors. This could be an opportunity for other Warriors’ players to step up and contribute, though. I like a few different guys on Golden State for DFS in this matchup. Damion Lee and Andrew Wiggins should be two beneficiaries on offense for the Warriors with Poole out. In several different situations, Wiggins has proved that he can be relied upon as a secondary scorer on a great team. Without Poole, Wiggins will need to put up 20+ points for Golden State if it wants to win against the Raptors on the road. This season, Wiggins averages 18.4 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game, which is not necessarily spectacular, but he plays within himself. On certain nights, though, Wiggins can blow up. He can put 30 points up on the Raptors with Poole out, and Curry likely to draw a ton of double teams. Lee is another guy that could get more looks. While Lee is not necessarily a dynamic player in DFS, he should get a solid amount of minutes (at least 25-30). If Lee can see the floor for that time, then 15 points and a few boards are very doable. His salary should be pretty cheap, making him a great value play.

The Toronto Raptors have five players on their roster who average 15+ points and another three players who average eight points. Their scoring is well-distributed, with no single player taking up a significant amount of usage, but that has still not led to as much offensive success as they would like. Still, a player to consider in DFS is Fred VanVleet. Fred does a bit of everything on the floor and is the general for the Raptors on both ends. He averages 19.8 points, 6.5 assists, five rebounds, and 1.6 steals per game on a 43/39/86 shooting split. VanVleet is not too far from the ever-elusive 50/40/90. Even though the Raptors are not a great basketball team, there is still plenty of value on their roster for DFS purposes, and VanVleet is no exception.

Drew is a lead NBA writer at Lineups.com where he has been covering in-season basketball coverage to the NBA Draft. He is a former collegiate player who now spends time diving into NBA prospects and evaluating the analytics of the NBA.

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