Raptors News

Pre-game news & notes: Lowry rests, Patterson and Lin sit

LWe’re going to keep this super brief because: a) I did the pre-game, anyway; b) I’m trying to do this on WordPress mobile and it’s damn near impossible, even on a gigantic iPhone 6S Plus; and c) my mind is kind of elsewhere. Also of note: I’ll be catching this game late, so if anything breaks during, I won’t be jumping on it in our normally expedient manner. I figured the third meeting with the Nets was the safest possible game to watch late.

Oh yeah, the Raptors are playing the Nets. It’s the first game of a three-game road trip and the first night of a back-to-back. That probably won’t mean much here given it’s Brooklyn, but if the Raptors were looking for some rest, the Nets would be the easier half of the back-to-back, considering how well Philadelphia’s playing. That doesn’t mean this will be a cakewalk – the Raptors have a penchant for taking their foot off the gas, and it’s allowed for a late Philly comeback, the trimming of a 417-point lead to 15 against the Knicks, and the Nets to hang around into the third quarter just on Friday (pro tip: guard the damn 3-point line in transition).

The game tips off at 7:30 p m. on TSN 1/3/4 and Sportsnet 590. You can check out the full game preview here.

Raptors updates
Patrick Patterson is considered questionable in perpetuity, it seems. He got hurt in a second quarter, missed the next four games, returned for a pair at less than 100 percent, and has now missed two more. I’d be surprised if he plays here, and opposite the Booker-Lopez frontcourt, it would stand to reason that the successful-so-far-in-matchup-specific-context Lucas Nogueira-Jonas Valanciuns duo would be ruled out once again.

Check back before tip off for an update.

UPDATE: he’s out.

UPDATE 2: Lowry is sitting for rest.

PG: Cory Joseph, Fred VanVleet
SG: DeMar DeRozan, Norman Powell
SF: DeMarre Carroll, Terrence Ross
PF: Lucas Nogueira, Pascal Siakam, Bruno Caboclo
C: Jonas Valanciunas, Jakob Poeltl
Assigned:
TBD:
OUT: Delon Wright, Jared Sullinger, Patick Patterson, Kyle Lowry

Nets updates
The Nets are once again without the services of noted Raptor-killer (and Valentine’s Day date-killer) Jeremy Lin, which turns point guard duties over to Spencer Dinwiddie and Isaiah Whitehead, who I promise are real NBA players. Capable ones, even. That position clearly swings Toronto’s way a great deal, though, putting the onus on Brooklyn’s 3-point shooters and Brook Lopez to swing the upset. Valanciunas  answered the call on the glass against Lopez last time out, and Nogueira did better than expected in the post thanks to his length, but that will always be a tough matchup (except when Lowry is swooping in out of nowhere with blocks on the trebuchet jumper).

There isn’t much else to note for the Nets, who have fluid starting lineups and rotations, and who are still trying new things every night. It’s hard to peg down exactly how they’ll attack a given game or matchup. Caris LeVert and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson are nice pieces, at least.

PG: Isaiah Whitehead, Spencer Dinwiddie, Randy Foye
SG: Joe Harris, Sean Kilpatrick, Caris LeVert
SF: Bojan Bogdanovic, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
PF: Trevor Booker, Quincy Acy
C: Brook Lopez, Luis Scola, Justin Hamilton
Assigned: Chris McCullough
TBD:
Out: Jeremy Lin

Assorted

  • This is yet another good story about the Raptors using their platform for good, this time featuring Jonas Valanciunas:

  • Remember when the Raptors were Knicks-adjace, in terms of franchise disarray? Never forget where this team came from, and never stop appreciating where they’ve existed over the last four years and where they’re set up to be for the next while. Even if you disagree with a move here or a non-move there, they’re in such a better place than they historically have been or could be.
  • Bigger return to Toronto: Jose Bautista re-signing with the Blue Jays on Jan. 17 or Vince Carter signing a one-year, veteran-minimum deal with the Raptors on July 1?

The line
The Raptors are 11.5-point favorites, up slightly from an opening line of Raptors -11. The over-under has ticked up to 227.5. The Raptors should take care of things, but as always with double-digit spreads, some of it will come down to how early the Raptors put it away and how well the bench unit hangs on, if they do. It seems pretty safe, barring a player resting or catastrophe striking.

Raptors 117, Nets 97

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