It was something of a running joke these past two years. The Pelicans would come to Toronto but Anthony Davis wouldn't play. It made the team easy prey for the Raptors, though they lost the last two teams against the Davis-less Pellies anyway. The last time Davis was here was in February 2014, when the Raptors were in the midst of their surprising renaissance. Toronto won that game. It's been awhile, is my point.
So Davis is here, but there's other bad news in store. As announced by Dwane Casey before the game (rather casually, if I may add), DeMar DeRozan will not be playing in tonight's contest. Casey went on to say DeRozan will also not be playing tomorrow in Boston. This is all kinds of terrible. DeRozan's ankle sprain is, in the hierarchy of injuries, not a super serious one -- but missing games is still missing games.
Per Dwane Casey: DeMar DeRozan is not playing tonight OR tomorrow.— Raptors HQ (@RaptorsHQ) January 31, 2017
For the Pelicans, venerable (???) guard Tyreke Evans will also sit this one out. He's a key cog for this team off the bench, so that's a shame for them. I guess. What else do the Raptors have to worry about here? The spectre of Solomon Hill? The roving presence of Alexis Ajinca? I digress.
Have a read of my preview here if you want some more thoughts and details. Then, let's get to the comments and get fired up.