Sometimes the NBA preseason is just that, a series of games shifted by degree. In the first contest between the Raptors and Rockets in Tokyo, the crowd was treated to a display from James Harden before a comeback from Toronto. Both teams were minus a few players — the Raps’ absences were more signicant, the Rockets’ more in number — but it was possible to notice both teams adjusting as the game went along.
Now we get to the second game in the mini-summit, and the show changes again. Harden may play fewer minutes, and the Rockets’ injury list has shrunk by a few names (they also announced yesterday that they’ve waived Anthony Bennett), which should make for some different lineup combos. Toronto, meanwhile, should get its first chance to see Marc Gasol back on the court today too. It’s a minor thing when considered against the broader picture of where we are in the NBA season — but again, small shifts.
Much as we did on Tuesday, let’s rise and shine with the Raptors as they play their second preseason game (the Rockets already have three under their belt). Let loose in the comments below — assuming you’re awake.
Below are the best details we have now — and here’s my Raps-Rox preview from yesterday.
Where to Watch
6am on Sportsnet
Toronto - Fred VanVleet, Norman Powell, OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam, Serge Ibaka
Houston - Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Eric Gordon, P.J. Tucker, Clint Capela
Toronto - Kyle Lowry (out – thumb/rest)
Houston - Michael Frazier (out – ankle), Nenê (out – adductor), Thabo Sefolosha (out - rest)