While the Toronto Raptors were licking their wounds after their defeat to the Miami Heat on Tuesday night, the Charlotte Bobcats were celebrating their surprising victory over the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. These two outcomes alone make Wednesday’s matchup between the Raptors and Bobcats inside Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C. that much more intriguing.
Although the Knicks have struggled to begin their 2013-14 campaign, one can’t deny that they should have been able to beat the Bobcats at home inside MSG. Instead, Kemba Walker led his team to a rare road victory and will look to do the same at home in front of an energized (while still sparse) home crowd when they take on the Raptors.
Both teams are similar in that they have been going through an ongoing rebuilding phase as they try their best to put up decent performances against the league’s big boys. If the Bobcats can beat the Knicks on the road, they can most certainly beat the Raptors at home. This would normally be a game where the Raptors should feel confident in that they would dominate right from the start, but after Tuesday night, this is anyone’s ball-game.
The key for the Raptors is to remember that they once had a decent lead over the Heat and hung on for quite some time before ultimately succumbing to the genius play of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. If DeMar DeRozan and Jonas Valanciunas can play like they did against the Heat, the Raptors’ chances of getting this much-needed road victory are decent. Amir Johnson will have to find a way to stop a crafty Walker and watch out for Gerald Henderson, as well, as the Raptors try and better their 2-2 record while pulling away from the Bobcats in the NBA Eastern Conference standings.
What normally would be a no-brainer for an NBA odds maker, the matchup between the Raptors and the Bobcats in North Carolina is closer than you think. Expect this one to go down to a last-second victory for one of these so far .500 clubs.