Episode 30 of the Sports Betting Tips podcast, featuring veteran NBA journalist Chris Sheridan, is now available. In this week’s episode, Sheridan speaks with Toronto Raptors radio analyst Paul Jones. Sheridan and Jones talk all things Toronto — the Raptors’ road trip, Jonas Valanciunas missing time, and more.
Listen to the full conversation here:
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Raptors’ Road Trip
Jones entered this conversation the day after Toronto earned a big, 113-93 win at Golden State. The Raptors played without Kawhi Leonard. Toronto began its road trip with a win over the Clippers.
“The Raptors were coming off of a couple bad losses … people were looking at this road trip and saying, ‘wow, I’d take 2-2 and run with it,’” Jones said. “Well, they’re 2-0 now.”
The Raptors will continue their road trip at Portland on Friday and Denver on Sunday. It’s a difficult four-game stretch, but Toronto will return home with a .500 record at worst.
News broke Thursday that big man Jonas Valanciunas will have surgery on his wrist and miss a minimum of four weeks. It’s a big loss for the Raptors, who currently have the best record in the East.
“That hurts, Chris, because JV had really adapted to his role,” Jones said. “Nick Nurse had got him to accept the role of coming off the bench, a guy who had been a starter…JV had reinvented himself.”
In the meantime, it seems Toronto will give Serge Ibaka more minutes at center. Greg Monroe will likely receive more minutes, too.
As for the elephant in the room, Kawhi Leonard’s future? Jones doesn’t know.
“I don’t have a read on it,” Jones said. “I really don’t. There are some days when I think, ‘oh yeah, it’s a lock, he’s coming back,’ and then there are some days where I think he’s just biding his time here.”
He added that the Clippers, who are reportedly intent on pursuing Kawhi, have sent personnel to plenty of Toronto’s games.
“He’s a very quiet guy, Kawhi Leonard, and he’s difficult to get to know in that sense,” Jones said. “I think the more you try to get into his thoughts and get close to him, the more he pushes away.”
Later in the podcast, Chris and Jones discussed Masai Ujiri, the Raptors’ chances this season, the not-to-be-slept-on Pacers, MVP favorites, Steph Curry, and more.
Listen to the full episode by hitting play above, and be sure to subscribe to Get More Sports’ podcast Sports Betting Tips with Chris Sheridan on your platform of choice.
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