Pre-game news & notes: Anunoby out, Powell starts, Kanter and Thomas sit, Wright available after all

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I…do not have much to say. I just did the game preview like three hours ago. I’ve gotta remember not to assign myself the previews when it’s such an early tip…you guys don’t need my perspective twice in a morning. At least, not for a game between the Toronto Raptors and the New York Knicks. One is 14-1 in the last 15, the other is 1-14, and if both sides play to form, this should be rote. That’s not a certainty, but there’s not really enough to fill two pre-game posts with a game that amounts to “if you play how you have the last two months, you’ll probably win by 15.” The Raptors haven’t lost to a bad team since Boxing Day.

The game tips off at 1 on Sportsnet One and TSN 1050. You can check out the full game preview here.

Raptors updates
Toronto will once again be without OG Anunoby and Delon Wright, per Dwane Casey via Eric Smith of Sportsnet. They were both listed as doubtful, and on an afternoon with no shootaround against a lesser opponent, it doesn’t make much sense to rush them here. That they both traveled and weren’t ruled out until now is at least encouraging about their progress. Seeing them back at some point on this three-game trip wouldn’t be surprising. In the meantime, Malcolm Miller and Nigel Hayes are with the team for depth. It hasn’t been announced if Norman Powell will continue to start or someone else will get a shot, though he’ll either be a factor in the Anunoby role or the Wright role. It would be kind of funny to get Hayes some heavy run against the team that had him in Summer League, training camp, and the G League this year, similar to when the Cavaliers unleashed Edy Tavares on the Raptors late last year.

Check back before tip-off for starters.

UPDATE: Powell starts again. Expect Miller in the 10th-man role, and possibly an expanded rotation to get Hayes a taste if things go to form.

UPDATE II: Wright was out warming up before the anthems. Not sure if he’s just testing it or what, but he’s on my screen.

UPDATE III: Josh Lewenberg passes on that Wright is available, after all. He tested his toe out before the game and is active. Whether or not he’s used is another question, but it’s a positive that he’s available, even if he was ruled out initially.

PG: Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, Delon Wrighr
SG: DeMar DeRozan
SF: Norman Powell, C.J. Miles, Malcolm Miller
PF: Serge Ibaka, Pascal Siakam, Nigel Hayes
C: Jonas Valanciunas, Jakob Poeltl, Lucas Nogueira
OUT: OG Anunoby
TBD: None
905: Malachi Richardson, Lorenzo Brown, Alfonzo McKinnie

Knicks updates
The Knicks are still without Kristaps Porzingis, Ron Baker, and Joakim Noah, and so Isaiah Hicks and the most obvious Raptor-killer of all time, Luke Kornet, are up from Westchester. Kornet made his NBA debut against the Raptors on Feb. 8, scoring 11 points in 22 minutes. He’s scored five points in 38 minutes since. He’s also hung 64 points on Raptors 905 in four meetings this year, hitting 10 threes. Nobody has ever been so pre-destined for the Gerald Henderson award.

The only other Knicks note is that Courtney Lee is coming off the bench in his return from a brief absence for a family matter, allowing Frank Ntilikina and Emmanuel Mudiay to both stay in the starting lineup. Trey Burke and Enes Kanter are both playing despite minor issues. Lance Thomas has a thumb injury and is a game-time call, per Ian Begley of ESPN.

UPDATE: Thomas is out, per several Knicks beat reporters.

UPDATE II: Enes Kanter is a late scratch due to back spasms, per the Knicks. So that’s two of their more useful regulars down. Kornet feasts.

PG: Emmanuel Mudiay, Trey Burke, Jarrett Jack
SG: Frank Ntilikina, Courtney Lee, Damyean Dotson
SF: Tim Hardaway, Troy Williams
PF: Michael Beasley, Isaiah Hicks
C: Luke Kornet, Kyle O’Quinn
OUT: Enes Kanter, Kristaps Porzingis, Ron Baker, Joakim Noah, Lance Thomas
TBD: None
Westchester: None


  • Raptors 905 won yesterday. Barely. With a team-record five players assigned, they fell behind a woeful Canton team by double-digits, needing a fourth-quarter comeback to win. Nigel Hayes and Malcolm Miller flew to New York afterward to join the Raptors while Alfonzo McKinnie, Lorenzo Brown, and Malachi Richardson stayed behind with the 905 for Tuesday’s game.
  • Some of the Raptors were roasting Serge Ibaka for his Snapchat/IG story usage the other night and honestly, it’s about damn time.
  • The Last Two Minute Report from Raptors-Rockets only shows one small miss, a travel on Eric Gordon (0:10).
  • Shouts to Ryerson on pulling off the Carleton upset.

The line
The Raptors are 9.5-point favorites with a 217 over-under. The Raptors are 37-28 against the spread this season, including an 18-14 mark against the spread on the road.

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