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SteemSports Editor: Shayne Shiells @cryptoiskey
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We are presenting the Raptors Vs Clippers
Raptors vs Rockets
November 23, 8:00 PM EST
Toyota Center, Houston, TX
(November 24th 1:00 AM UTC)
Raptors vs Rockets November 23, 8:00 PM EST Toyota Center, Houston, TX
(November 24th 1:00 AM UTC)
The Raptors are coming off a difficult loss to the Clippers. As good as the Raptors have been this season - they didnt have what it took last night to compete with the best team in the NBA. Houston is one of the best as well. The Raptors have had a tough schedule losing to Cleveland and to Golden State before the Clippers. The Raptors need this road win.
So Far This Season:
The Raptors are 8-6 they are a team that is capable of great things. Their greatest challenge of late has been playing the leagues top teams - there is no shame in losing to the Clippers or Cavs.
The Toronto Raptors are a Canadian professional basketball team based in Toronto, Ontario. The Raptors compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA), as a member of the league's Eastern Conference Atlantic Division. The team was established in 1995, along with the Vancouver Grizzlies, as part of the NBA's expansion into Canada. When the Grizzlies relocated to Memphis, Tennessee to become the Memphis Grizzlies in 2001, the Raptors became the only Canadian-based team in the NBA. They originally played their home games at the SkyDome (since renamed Rogers Centre in 2005), before moving eastward along Bremner Boulevard to the Air Canada Centre in 1999.
Like most expansion teams, the Raptors struggled in their early years, but after the acquisition of Vince Carter through a draft day trade in 1998, the team set league-attendance records and made the NBA playoffs in 2000, 2001, and 2002. Carter was instrumental in leading the team to a then-franchise high 47 wins and their first playoff series win in 2001, where they advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals. During the 2002–03 and 2003–04 seasons, they failed to make significant progress and he was traded in 2004 to the New Jersey Nets.
After Carter left, Chris Bosh emerged as the team leader. In 2006–07, Bryan Colangelo's first full season as President and General Manager, a combination of Bosh, 2006 first overall NBA draft pick Andrea Bargnani and a revamp of the roster helped the Raptors qualify for their first playoff berth in five years, capturing the Atlantic Division title with 47 wins. In the 2007–08 season, they advanced to the playoffs again, but failed to make the playoffs in each of the next five seasons. In a bid to persuade Bosh to stay, Colangelo overhauled the team roster for the 2009–10 season, but Bosh signed with the Miami Heat in July 2010, ushering in yet another era of rebuilding for the Raptors.
After Masai Ujiri was brought in as the new General Manager in 2013, he traded Bargnani to the New York Knicks. With a backcourt led by Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, the Raptors returned to the playoffs, won their second Atlantic Division title, and won a then-franchise record 48 games in the 2013–14 season. However, they failed for a fourth consecutive time to advance beyond the first round of the playoffs. In the 2014–15 season, they won a then-franchise record 49 games, but failed for a second consecutive year to advance past the first round of the playoffs, getting swept by the Washington Wizards, 4–0. In the 2015–16 season, they won a franchise record 56 games, finishing in second place in the conference for the first time in franchise history. In the playoffs, they won their first playoff series since 2001 by defeating both the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat, advancing to the Conference Finals for the first time against the Cleveland Cavaliers, only for the Raptors to lose to the eventual NBA champions in six games.
The Western Conference is tough- especially with the Clippers leading the pack right now. Houston has a competitive squad that they feel can go deep in the playoffs this year. If Harden outplays DeRozan tonight then the Rockets will win.
So Far This Season:
The Rockets are 9-5 this season - its still very early in the season, but the Rockets have shown a lot of promise and their record would look much more respectable if it wasn't for the Clippers, Warriors and Spurs. The Rockets have won three in a row - so tonight they will be trying to extend a streak while the Raptors try to turn one around.
The Houston Rockets is an American professional basketball team based in Houston, Texas. The Rockets compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA), as a member club of the league's Western Conference Southwest Division. The team plays its home games at the Toyota Center, located in downtown Houston. The Rockets have won two NBA championships and four Western Conference titles. The team was established as the San Diego Rockets, an expansion team originally based in San Diego, in 1967. In 1971, the Rockets moved to Houston.
The Rockets won only 15 games in their debut season as a franchise in 1967. In the 1968 NBA draft, the Rockets selected power forward Elvin Hayes first overall, who would lead the team to its first playoff appearance in his rookie season. The Rockets did not finish a season with a winning record until the 1976–77 season, when they traded for center Moses Malone. Malone went on to win the NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) award twice and lead Houston to the conference finals in his first year with the team. He also led the Rockets to the NBA Finals in 1981 where they were defeated in six games by the Boston Celtics, led by Larry Bird and future Rockets coach Kevin McHale.
In 1984, the Rockets drafted center Hakeem Olajuwon, who would be paired with 7 feet 4 inches (2.24 m) Ralph Sampson, forming one of the tallest front courts in the NBA. Nicknamed the "Twin Towers", they led the team to the 1986 NBA Finals—the second NBA Finals appearance in franchise history—where Houston was again defeated by the Boston Celtics. The Rockets continued to reach the playoffs throughout the 1980s, but failed to advance past the second round for the rest of the decade. Rudy Tomjanovich took over as head coach midway through the 1991–92 season, ushering in the most successful period in franchise history. The Rockets would reach the 1994 NBA Finals, where Olajuwon led the team to the franchise's first championship against Patrick Ewing and the New York Knicks. The team repeated as champions in 1995 as the sixth seed in the West and swept the Orlando Magic in four games, who were led by a young Shaquille O'Neal and Penny Hardaway. Houston became the lowest-seeded team in NBA history to win the title.
The Rockets acquired all-star forward Charles Barkley in 1996, but the presence of three of the NBA's 50 greatest players of all-time (Olajuwon, Drexler, and Barkley) was not enough to propel Houston past the Western Conference Finals. Each one of the aging trio had left the team by 2001, and the Rockets of the early 21st century, led by superstars Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming, followed the trend of consistent regular-season respectability followed by playoff underachievement as both players struggled with injuries. After Yao's early retirement in 2011, the Rockets entered a period of rebuilding, completely dismantling and retooling their roster. The acquisitions of franchise players James Harden and Dwight Howard have launched the Rockets back into championship contention in the mid-2010s. The Rockets, under general manager Daryl Morey, are notable for popularizing the use of advanced statistical analytics (similar to sabermetrics in baseball) in player acquisitions and style of play.
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