Update: Pascal Siakam, Scottie Barnes, Dalano Banton, and Justin Champagnie are all available.
Tonight the Toronto Raptors face the Cleveland Cavaliers for the second time this season looking to extend their winning streak to 2 along with getting the season series to 2-0 after defeating them on opening night. The Raptors could potentially see the return of their best player Pascal Siakam tonight as his status for the game was upgraded to questionable which is a welcome sight for the Raptors. Scottie Barnes and Dalano Banton are also listed as questionable for tonight so the Raptors are looking to get a lot of reinforcements back.
The last time these teams faced off it was under much different circumstances. Darius Garland missed most of the game due to a freak eye injury but this time around the Cavs backcourt will be at full strength. However, they may not have All-star center Jarrett Allen as he is battling a hip injury that kept him out of their last game. Without Jarrett Allen this makes the Cavs defense more vulnerable, especially in the paint which helps OG Anunoby who has been thriving this season. Fred VanVleet has also been scoring the ball very well in Pascal’s absence and should be able to create good looks against the weak defensive backcourt that Cleveland has.
Cleveland’s backcourt is elite offensively though with Darius Garland averaging 23 points and 8 assists and Donovan Mitchell averaging 30 points and 5 assists. The Raptors are known for sending doubles to the opposing team’s best offensive player to get the ball out of their hands so I imagine they will attempt this on Donovan Mitchell similar to how they did to Demar Derozan and Luka Doncic.
This is a hard game to read due to all the uncertainty around who’s going to be playing but with the information we have now this should be a close one.
Tip-Off: 7:30 pm EST | TV: TSN4 / 4K | Radio: TSN Radio 1050
Jarrett Allen (hip, out); Kevin Love (thumb, out); Lamar Stevens (illness, questionable); Caris LeVert (ankle, out); Ricky Rubio (out indefinitely, knee); Dylan Windler (out indefinitely, ankle)
PG: Darius Garland, Raul Neto
SG: Donovan Mitchell, Dean Wade
SF: Issac Okoro, Cedi Osman
PF: Evan Mobley, Dean Wade
C: Robin Lopez
Pascal Siakam and Scottie Barnes are playing. (!) Otto Porter Jr. is out, but Justin Champagnie and Dalano Banton are back as well. A WILD starting lineup though:
PG: Fred VanVleet, Malachi Flynn, Jeff Dowtin Jr.
SG: Juancho Hernangomez, Gary Trent Jr., Ron Harper Jr.
SF: O.G. Anunoby, Dalano Banton, Justin Champagnie
PF: Pascal Siakam, Chris Boucher
C: Thaddeus Young, Scottie Barnes, Christian Koloko, Khem Birch
Toronto is favored by 2.5 points, Over/Under is 214.