I’ve seen people use the term “playoff atmosphere” to describe the Raptors’ opening night game against the Pelicans. I’m not sure I ever felt the crushing anxiety that comes with a playoff game on Tuesday night, but it sure as hell didn’t feel like a regular season game either. It was a historic, once-in-a-lifetime night that was a celebration of both the Raptors’ 25 year history, and of last year’s historic, once-in-a-lifetime season. The game itself took a back seat.
Tonight, the actual basketball takes center stage once again, as the Raps play their division rivals, the Celtics, a team they are projected to jockey with for seeding throughout the year.
It’s only game two, but injuries will, nonetheless, factor into tonight’s contest. The Celtics will be without big man Enes Kanter, as Kanter suffered a left-knee contusion in the Celtics’ opening night contest against the Philadelphia 76ers. Kanter was the Celtics’ opening night starter at center, and without him the Celtics’ will look to sophomore Robert Williams III and European imports Daniel Theis and Vincent Poirier to soak up minutes in the middle. They will also be without a pair of rookies, as both first-round pick Romeo Langford and fan favourite Tacko Fall suffered injuries prior to the season getting underway.
#NEBHInjuryReport for tomorrow night vs Toronto:— Boston Celtics (@celtics) October 24, 2019
Tacko Fall (NBA Concussion Protocol) - OUT
Enes Kanter (left knee contusion) - OUT
Romeo Langford (sore right knee) - OUT
Meanwhile, on the Raptors’ side of the things, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Patrick McCaw will both sit once again after being held out of the Raptors’ opener, while Fred VanVleet seems likely to play despite tweaking his ankle on Tuesday.
No McCaw or Hollis-Jefferson for the Raptors tonight for the Raptors, per several of the beat in Boston.— Blake Murphy (@BlakeMurphyODC) October 25, 2019
An 8-man rotation on a B2B could be tough, so theoretically an opportunity for a 9th guy.
Contusions, soreness, tweaked ankles, and the Celtics being discussed as a team with genuine playoff aspirations. Yep, the regular season is here again. Below are the details for tonight’s game. Now, let’s watch!
Where to Watch
TSN4, 7:00 PM ET
Boston — Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum, Daniel Theis
Toronto — Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol
Boston — Enes Kanter (knee — out), Romeo Langford (knee — out), Tacko Fall (concussion protocol — out)
Toronto — Patrick McCaw (knee — out), Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (groin — out)