The thing about trying to become the San Antonio Spurs is that the Spurs are still Spurs-ing. At this point it feels fair to say a meteor is the only earthly force that could slow the franchise down. This year, fresh off Tim Duncan's retirement and the continued ageing of pillars Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, coach Gregg Popovich has found a place for guys like Dewayne Dedmon, Jonathon Simmons, Davis Bertans and the reanimated corpse of David Lee. These guys can't be stopped, is my point.
The Raptors, as I'm sure you've heard by now, are reeling. Kyle Lowry is slumping and the team has been hit by a rash of injuries -- prime among them the right ankle sprain suffered by DeMar DeRozan. In DeMar's absence, the Raptors will need to find offense from somewhere else. With Toronto's core shooting sluggishly from deep as of late, could that somewhere else include Jonas Valanciunas? Time will tell.
In other news: Patrick Patterson has been listed as probable for tonight's game, which means he may get to stretch his legs a bit. (I can report he was watching La La Land last night, so he should be well-rested. Before you ask: I happened to bump into him at the theatre last night, no joke.) This is a good development.
Everyone else for the Raptors is back and, folks, they'll need everyone. The Spurs are 35-9 and have won four in a row. They are now missing Pau Gasol, and Simmons is set to sit, but they are still in peak Spurs mode. The Raptors, well, they'd like to get there but, much like the Highlander, there can be only one. Apparently.
Check out the preview from Russell Peddle over here and then let's get down to it in the comments.
The starting lineups are all over the place.