Gameday: Raptors @ T-Wolves, January 19

Last game of the road trip before heading home for the weekend.

Toronto lost a winnable game on Tuesday at Milwaukee with numerous Bucks out, including Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Raptors will try to correct that against a Minnesota team that’s in a similar situation.

Raptors scope (20-25, 11th in East | Offensive rating: 13th | Defensive rating: 19th)

That defensive rating continues to plummet and is flirting with the bottom 10 after allowing 130 points and 19 threes against Milwaukee. Toronto ranked 10th last season. As for the offence, Fred VanVleet is averaging 36 points over his last two games. He is 11-25 from three over that stretch and is coming off a 39 point performance for the third time this season. Fred seems to like that number, he’s only hit 40 once (the career-high 54).

Meanwhile, Gary Trent Jr. turned 24 years old yesterday.

Timberwolves scope (22-24, 10th in West | Offensive rating: 18th | Defensive rating: 15th)

Minnesota battled in Denver last night, nearly handing the Nuggets a second loss in their last eight games until clutch Jamal Murray showed up. This is quite the quick turnaround, finishing a game around 12:45am Eastern time, then flying back to Minnesota for a start time about 17 hours later. The West standings don’t care about the weary T-Wolves though. Minnesota is hanging onto the final play-in spot by a thread, with Portland and surprisingly Phoenix right behind. Everything has been flipped on its head over there. Only five West teams are over .500, one of them being the Sacramento Kings in third! Overall, the Timberwolves have regressed after showing promise last season. Many point to the blockbuster trade for Rudy Gobert as a prime reason.

Anthony Edwards is averaging 24.7 points over the last 25 games in Karl-Anthony Towns absence (slight bump from 22.6 prior). He’s one of the rare players in the NBA to play every game so far this season and has only missed 10 in his three year career.

Game Info

Tip-Off: 8pm EST | TV: Sportsnet One/One 4K | Radio: TSN Radio 1050

Raptors Lineup

Dalano Banton (hip pointer) is questionable. Otto Porter Jr. (toe) is out for the season.

PG: Fred VanVleet, Malachi Flynn, Dalano Banton

SG: Gary Trent Jr.

SF: O.G. Anunoby, Juancho Hernangomez, Joe Wieskamp

PF: Scottie Barnes, Chris Boucher, Thaddeus Young

C: Pascal Siakam, Precious Achiuwa, Christian Koloko, Khem Birch

Timberwolves Lineup

Karl-Anthony Towns (calf strain) has been out since November, missing the last 25 games. Jordan McLaughlin (calf) isn’t expected to return anytime soon. Rudy Gobert (groin) missed last night’s game. Austin Rivers (knee) also didn’t play against the Nuggets.

*T-Wolves roster last night in Denver*

PG: D’Angelo Russell

SG: Anthony Edwards, Jaylen Nowell, Wendell Moore Jr, Bryn Forbes

SF: Kyle Anderson, Taurean Prince, Matt Ryan, Josh Minott

PF: Jaden McDaniels, Nathan Knight

C: Naz Reid, Luka Garza

The Line

The Raptors are favoured by four points, given Minnesota is shorthanded and played late last night. Toronto hasn’t exactly taken advantage of those type of situations though. The Over/Under is 230.

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