Update: The team has announced that Pascal Siakam will be out with rest.
Toronto has been as short on bodies as they’ve been short on wins in the past days. After butchering the Golden State Warriors, the Raptors have been without Fred VanVleet, on top of previous absences from Kyle Lowry and others. OG Anunoby was ejected early in a game against the Los Angeles Lakers. For a team with solid top-end talent but a scarce middle class and no depth to speak of, Toronto of course struggled while missing its best players, too. They lost to the Lakers and then again to the Chicago Bulls because they didn’t have the bodies to hold leads when the starters were on the bench. That’s nothing to be too critical of.
But the bodies aren’t necessarily on the way. At least not yet.
Newly signed Freddie Gillespie is an active defensive center and could help bolster the frontcourt when Chris Boucher is on the bench, but he is currently listed as out until he clears protocol. His status will be updated then. Kyle Lowry and Rodney Hood are questionable. Khem Birch is not yet on the roster and so won’t be available. In all likelihood, Toronto may have of the boys back in town against the Cavaliers, but they’ll still be short. So don’t expect a miraculous return to solidity from the Raptors.
The Cavaliers on the other hand are riding a two-game winning streak, both blowouts. Kevin Love is back in the lineup and playing well. Collin Sexton remains an electric scorer, and Darius Garland is a solid caretaker at the point guard position. The have plenty of depth off the bench, unlike the Raptors. The Cavaliers are not a bad team, not anymore, especially not with Love in the rotation. The Raptors will have their hands full, especially when both teams have transitional units on the floor.
Tipoff: 7:30 pm EST | TV: TSN | Radio: TSN 1050 Toronto
Fred VanVleet (hip), Jalen Harris (hip), and Paul Watson (health and safety protocol) are all out. Gillespie (still needs to clear protocols) is listed as out, though that may change. Kyle Lowry (right foot) and Rodney Hood (right hip) are both questionable.
PG: Malachi Flynn
SG: Gary Trent Jr., DeAndre’ Bembry
SF: OG Anunoby
PF: Pascal Siakam, Yuta Watanabe, Stanley Johnson
C: Chris Boucher, Aron Baynes
Jarrett Allen (concussion) and Larry Nance (illness) will not play. Dylan Windler (knee) is out indefinitely.
PG: Darius Garland, Matthew Dellavedova
SG: Collin Sexton, Damyean Dotson, Brodric Thomas
SF: Isaac Okoro, Taurean Prince, Cedi Osman, Lamar Stevens
PF: Kevin Love, Dean Wade
C: Isaiah Hartenstein, Mfiondu Kabengele
Raps are -3.5. Uhhh, no comment on that one. Over-under is 219, which seems low to me, somehow.