//

Gameday: Raptors @ Bulls, December 22

There's a game of pick-up at the United Centre tonight if you're into that sort of thing.

6 mins read
2
Photo via Sportsnet

What the HELL are we doing here?

Every time I finish a sentence there’s a new Raptor in protocols.

There’s 10.5 – Khem’s a ‘?’ – players available tonight half of whom have been Raptors for, like, an hour.

The Bulls are less affected with only Zach LaVine, Ayo Dosunmu, Alize Johnson, Devon Dotson, and Matt Thomas in protocols. That’s small potatoes.

The NBA prides itself on not being the NFL and yet here we are choosing to play games, endanger players, knowingly spread the virus, and put a product on the floor that is – no offence to 10-day contractors – very, very sub-par. How Goodellian. The NHL’s shutting things down, so it’s not like it’s not feasible.

A much more sophisticated Katie Heindl expounds upon the outrage in a deeper, more acute way. But if (A) players’ health is at risk, (B) the outbreaks are not contained, and (C) the product is not high quality then can we rationalize any other conclusion than:

PROFITEERING>UNIVERSE ?

I get players need to get paid. But, not to get all Marxist or whatever on you, that’s a nicely simplified argument for someone who’s got money threatening someone who don’t. If most other superfluous industries are shutting down to protect their employees and limit spread thennnn…?

Adam’s Captain Obvious response is:

Ya, we know, Adam. We know.

The Skinny

Speaking of people who don’t have money.

CALL IN THE REPLACEMENTS!

The League is allowing teams to fortify their rosters with G-Leaguers and near-NBA talents in order to meet a minimum 8-player requirement for teams to participate in games.

The Raptors went ahead and signed:

Juwan Morgan

Brandon Goodwin

Nik Stauskas

Tremont Waters

D.J. Wilson

You know what that means…

IT’S THE SCOTTIE BARNES SHOWWWWW.

…oh Jesus, I go back to Twitter and, now, Scottie and Precious are in protocols

Okay, well throw that out the window.

Cue the OG show.

I’m a little less thrilled by that prospect. OG’s just come back from the hip-pointer. Not sure he’s in a position to carry the load.

But who else? Svi’s the only other guy who can really create for himself. He’s gonna get the green light. So will…Boucher…Whoopee.

I’m excited to see Bonga get minutes(?) – I’m asking myself as I say that. He can playmake when he’s given the confidence and allowed to carry the ball. Though, that’s only been against G-League talent thus far.

I fear Yuta will not meet your expectations. He’s a classic roleplayer that catalyzes good lineups but struggles to do the heavy lifting for bad ones.

Okay, summed up this team in a paragraph or two.

Do I have to tell you about the new guys too?

What’s the point? I bet this game’s canceled in the next 12 hours.

Not that I’m not happy to, I’m just cynical is all.

Tremont Waters is a baller. You gotta be if you’re listed at 5’9″ (that’s probably generous). He’s a Freddy V-lite minus the strength and elite shooting. He’s frisky; no careless ballhandling around him. He’ll knock down the three when he’s open and will have no problem organizing the offence.

You can learn more about Brandon Goodwin – a SPARKY SPARK plug – and Juwan Morgan from our boy Manny Rao.

For anyone familiar with Team Canada, you know Stauskas is a Canadian Sniper. Honestly, if Matt Thomas has a job, I’m pretty shocked Nik doesn’t. DJ Wilson’s another Masai-dream. He’s 6’8″ with a 7’3″ wingspan and can jump outta the gym. That’s bout it.

In basketball terms, it’s a tough time for the Raptors to lose half their roster. Everyone was just starting to get healthy; they mightttt have had some momentum building.

Game Info

Tip-Off: 8:00pm EST | TV: SN1; NBCS-CHI | Radio: SN 590

Toronto’s lineup

Khem Birch is questionable. Justin Champagnie (non-Covid illness) and David Johnson (calf) are out. In Protocols are: Fred VanVleet, Malachi Flynn, Gary Trent Jr, Scottie Barnes, Precious Achiuwa, Pascal Siakam. Goran Dragić is still in the Balkans.

PG: Isaac Bonga (Ya, that’s right, point guard), Brandon Goodwin, Tremont Waters

SG: Svi Mykhailiuk, Nik Stauskas

SF: OG Anunoby

PF: Yuta Watanabe, Juwan Morgan

C: Chris Boucher, DJ Wilson

Chicago’s lineup

Troy Brown Jr. (conditioning) is questionable. Derrick Jones Jr. (hamstring), Patrick Williams (wrist), and Alex Caruso (foot) are out. Matt Thomas, Ayo Dosunmu, Zach Lavine, Devon Dotson, and Alize Johnson are Protocolled.

PG: Lonzo Ball, Mac McClung

SG: DeMar DeRozan, Coby White

SF: Javonte Green, Alfonso McKinnie

PF: Tyler Cook

C: Nicholas Vučević, Tony Bradley, Marko Simonović

The Line

Moneyline: Raps +320

Spread: Raps +9

Over/Under: 210

Adon’s Wisdom: This has cluster F written all over it. I’d be hammering the Bulls.

Picks: Bulls/Bulls/Over