This might be the most winnable game Toronto will have in a while. The Raptors’ struggles of late have been well documented but the Warriors may be in a worse position.
Unlike Toronto, Golden State doesn’t hold a play-in spot if we skipped to the postseason right now. Stephen Curry was playing at an MVP level but won’t suit up again for about a month. Curry hasn’t played in Toronto since Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals and the unfortunate timing of his shoulder injury has to be a bummer for fans who circled this game, hoping to see him in person. On the flip side, Klay Thompson’s last appearance north of the border was that same game and is probable to play.
The Raptors come in losers of four straight, while the Warriors have lost three in a row.
Warriors scope (14-16, 11th in West | Offensive rating: 14th | Defensive rating: 19th)
This is Game four of a six game road trip for Golden State. The defending champions’ play away from home (2-14 on the road) has been one of the weirdest trends of the season. The Warriors played a solid first half in Philly on Friday, however the 76ers took over after that. Klay is back to his regular form (21.8 ppg, 43.4% from three over his last 12 games) but only shot 4-17 in that game. With Andrew Wiggins also unavailable to make a homecoming appearance, Jordan Poole becomes the number one offensive option. Poole has had an inconsistent season after signing a four year, $123 million extension but is averaging 25.4 points in 11 games as a starter.
Raptors scope (13-16, 10th in East | Offensive rating: 12th | Defensive rating: 16th)
This is the first leg of a back to back for the Raptors but they have to take advantage of seeing an under .500 opponent for the last time until January 10th against Charlotte. Toronto has gotten off to better starts on this three game homestand, however the third quarter woes continue. The Raptors have blown 18 and 16 point leads to the Nets and Kings respectively. There have been some bright spots though. Fred VanVleet appears to be over his shooting struggles, with 39 points in each of those games which ties his second best scoring output as a pro. Scottie Barnes had a huge fourth quarter vs Brooklyn.
Pascal Siakam has been relatively quiet by his standards over the last two contests and could use a big game. If Gary Trent Jr. is able to play, that could help the Raptors anemic perimeter shooting. Toronto hasn’t made 10 threes in any of the last three games.
Tip-Off: 6pm EST | TV: TSN 4/4K | Radio: Sportsnet 590
Stephen Curry (shoulder) doesn’t require surgery but will be out a month. Andrew Wiggins (groin) will miss his seventh straight game. Andre Iguodala (hip) hasn’t played this season. Klay Thompson and Draymond Green (quad) are probable.
PG: Jordan Poole, Ty Jerome, Ryan Rollins
SG: Klay Thompson, Moses Moody
SF: Donte DiVincenzo, Anthony Lamb, Patrick Baldwin Jr.
PF: Draymond Green, Jonathan Kuminga, JaMychal Green
C: Kevon Looney, James Wiseman
Gary Trent Jr. (quad) is questionable. O.G. Anunoby (hip) and Precious Achiuwa (ankle) remain out. Justin Champagnie, Jeff Dowtin Jr. and Ron Harper Jr. are with the 905.
PG: Fred VanVleet, Malachi Flynn, Dalano Banton
SG: Gary Trent Jr.
SF: Scottie Barnes
PF: Pascal Siakam, Juancho Hernangomez, Chris Boucher, Thaddeus Young
C: Christian Koloko, Khem Birch
The Raptors are favoured by 5.5 points. Over/Under is 224.5.