Raptors limit crowd to 1000 people; VanVleet, Anunoby, Barnes likely to return

The Raptors will have their stars back ... to play in a near-empty stadium.

Some good news and some bad news for the Toronto Raptors today. The province announced that home games at Scotiabank would be limited to 1000 people. The limits are to be reassessed in three weeks. Expect game ops to make up the difference.

At the same time, it looks like the troops will be back in time for Toronto’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday.

The Clippers, for their part, are decimated by injury and health and safety protocols, so it looks like the Raptors will continue their streak of games played with one team or the other at far below their usual talent level to four — first the Golden State Warriors declined to bring their stars across the border, then the Raptors were short stars against the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Philadelphia 76ers. Now the Clippers will be without the majority of their lineup, including Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, against the Raptors. C’est la vie.

VanVleet is in the midst of an All-Star season, Anunoby in a breakout year, and Barnes in a Rookie-of-the-Year race. They, along with the rest of the returners, will be hugely impactful in turning around Toronto’s season. Perhaps they’ll finally be healthy and ready to make a playoff push.