Friday 22nd March 2019

Event of the Day: Toronto Raptors versus Oklahoma City Thunder

Our event of the day is the NBA fixture between the Toronto Raptors and the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Scotiabank Arena. The Raptors are second in the East and looking like a dangerous team entering the final games before the end of the season. Meanwhile, the Thunder are towards the tail end of the Western conference seeding and will hope to end a recent slump. Be sure you don’t miss what is sure to be an exciting match. Today sees two very different playoff-bound teams. The Raptors have a record of 51-21 with ten games left in the season and still have a shot at a second consecutive top seed in the East if the Bucks slip down the stretch. They are on a two-game win streak and have won three of their last five. In those five games, the Raptors have really shown the threat of their roster. Pascal Siakam has put up 95 points, Kawhi Leonard has scored 105, even squad player Jeremy Lin has chipped in with 46. The Raptors have perfected their deep roster, with the addition of Kawhi seeming to be one of the final pieces they need to be a true title contender. Especially now that the throne of the East has fallen from the hands of the Cavaliers, this could be the Raptors’ year.

If the season ended today, the Raptors would begin the playoffs against the Brooklyn Nets, a surprise playoff team in their own right. After that, they would face an incredibly dangerous Philadelphia 76ers team or Blake Griffin and the resurgent Detroit Pistons. No doubt that the Raptors are a strong team and are sure to make the playoffs interesting and a Finals appearance is definitely possible. On the other end of the spectrum are the Thunder. The Thunder are currently in a three-way tie for the lowest three seeds in the West. On a four-game losing streak, they hold a seven-game lead over the 9th place Kings, meaning that they are guaranteed a place in the playoffs if they can score a few more wins. The biggest problem for the Thunder is that the power duo of Paul George and Russell Westbrook can’t carry the team. Dennis Schröder is the closest thing to a third man but in their current four-game losing streak, George and Westbrook have outscored the three other starters on the floor by 38 points. Tonight’s match is a rematch of the team’s most recent match, an overtime 123-114 win for Toronto. Toronto are in good form and OKC need to win so expect an exciting match.

Honourable mentions around the globe go to the first ODI between Pakistan and Australia at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in the UAE. Australia travel to the Middle East after winning their first ODI series in over two years and their first ever five-match ODI series reverse sweep against India, after been 2-0 down after the first two games. This has reignited hopes of a strong Australian performance at the upcoming World Cup. Meanwhile, their hosts have not played cricket in over month, after a tough tour in South Africa. They will look to bounce back; especially as Australian star Glenn Maxwell looks set to miss the first match due to illness. With the impending World Cup on the horizon, both teams will look to play their best cricket in what is sure to be a gripping match. Elsewhere, the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament continues, with number one seeds Virginia and Duke in action, facing Gardner-Webb and North Dakota State respectively at the Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, South Carolina. Euro 2020 qualifiers take place across Europe. On the LPGA tour, the Bank of Hope Founders Cup continues at the Wildfire Golf Club in Phoenix. In the NRL, the Canberra Raiders host the Melbourne Storm at the GIO Stadium in Canberra. In tennis, the Miami Open continues at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami.

Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!

Fixture

Photos by NBA

 

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