Though it marks the start of a rough four-games-in-six-nights road trip to close out the regular season, the Clippers should be glad their first stop on the trip is Tampa, Florida (this still feels strange to write) to play the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday night.
After losing four of their last six games, LA is in need of a bounceback win—a confidence booster before the playoffs begin on May 22. The Raptors, now officially eliminated from postseason contention and missing their entire core due to various ailments, are the perfect candidate.
Toronto will be missing All-Stars Kyle Lowry (rest) and Pascal Siakam (left shoulder injury), as well as starters Fred VanVleet (left hip injury) and OG Anunoby (left calf injury). Rotation piece Paul Watson is also out (knee injury) and Chris Coucher is questionable to play (knee injury). There will be a lot of unfamiliar faces on the court on Tuesday, at least for Clipper fans, who have only seen the Raptors once so far this season (last week, in a game the Clippers won 105-100).
For LA, they will only be missing Amir Coffey (health and safety protocols) and Serge Ibaka (lower back tightness). Ibaka is traveling with the team for this final road trip of the season, but has yet to even be upgraded to “doubtful” or “questionable” to play. At the very least, Ibaka will be on the sidelines (likely in an extravagant getup) to watch his current squad face off against the team with whom he won a championship two years ago.
LA has absolutely no excuses in this matchup. Though they’re on the road, it’s hard to even call this the Raptors’ home court given that it’s a little over 1300 miles from Toronto, and the fans in Tampa haven’t always been kind to their temporary team. The opposition will be throwing out a skeleton lineup, and the Clippers need a win if they hope to secure the no. 3 seed in the Western Conference (assuming that is the bracket in which they hope to land). If the Clippers can avoid getting complacent and playing down to their opponent, they should walk away with an easy victory.
How to Watch
Matchup: LA Clippers (45-23) vs. Toronto Raptors (27-41)
Date: Tuesday, May 11
Time: 4:30 p.m. PST
Venue: Amalie Arena
Broadcast: NBA League Pass
Spread: Clippers -13
Moneyline: Raptors +640, Clippers -950
Point Total: O/U 217.5
Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook