Raptors News

Pre-game news & notes: Garnett, Pekovic, Martin, and Prince out for Wolves

The Toronto Raptors have 48 minutes of action left before it’s party time for upwards of a week. Wednesday marks the team’s last game until Feb. 19 thanks to All-Star Weekend, which the city will, of course, host. There’s business at hand first, and that business comes in the form of the Minnesota Timberwolves at 8 p.m. on TSN.

You can check out the full game preview here, and I’m not going to rehash much beyond updates here since, well, I wrote it.

Timberwolves Updates
Kevin Martin (wrist), Nikola Pekovic (ankle), and Kevin Garnett (knee) all sat out Monday’s game for the Wolves and were considered questionable or doubtful Wednesday. They’ve all been ruled out, per Timberwolves PR, and they’ll be joined by Tayshaun Prince (personal). Technically Martin is still listed as doubtful, but given they’ve announced Zach LaVine as the starting two-guard, and given the All-Star break is about to provide extended rest, it doesn’t seem likely they risk it. (Update: He’s out.)

The rotation will look something like this as a result:

PG: Rubio, Jones, Miller
SG: LaVine
SF: Wiggins, Muhammad, Rudez
PF: Dieng, Bjelica
C: Towns, Payne

I wrote in the pre-game about how I’d like to see more of the Rubio-LaVine-Wiggins triumvirate that’s outscored opponents slightly in a small-ish sample this year, and here’s an opportunity. I’d like to see less of Prince, anyway. The starting lineup is now perhaps Minnesota’s most intriguing look, though Nemanja Bjelica joining at the four for additional spacing would be dangerous, too.

This would have been Garnett’s 47th career game against the Raptors. In 46 meetings, he’s averaged 18 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 3.6 assists while shooting 51.9 percent from the field. Gonna miss him when he’s gone.

Raptors Updates
Best we can all tell, there’s nothing new on the Raptors side. DeMarre Carroll and James Johnson remain out, Norman Powell remains the starter.

PG: Lowry, Joseph, Wright
SG: Powell, Ross
SF: DeRozan, Caboclo
PF: Scola, Patterson, Bennett
C: Valanciunas, Biyombo, Nogueira

Carroll, by the way, has progressed to taking jump shots.

Wiggins vs. Raptors
This marks the third time Andrew Wiggins is squaring off against his hometown Raptors. He totalled 40 points on 14-of-29 shooting in two games last season, kicking in eight rebounds and five assists. He’s still just 20, averaging nearly 21 points on close to league-average true-shooting, and has loads of defensive potential. There are obvious areas for improvement, but his profile remains quite encouraging, even if it’s maybe not that of a top-10 player (and it still could be, who knows).

The Line
The Raptors are six-point favorites, back down after moving up slightly to Raptors -6.5 this morning. I’m not going to be the guy to preach negativity with the run they’re on and heading into All-Star Weekend. Raptors win, narrowly hit the under, then party.

Raptors 107, Timberwolves 98

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