Who doesn’t love a family reunion? Tonight in Toronto the Raptors host the Orlando Magic with familial vibes in the air.
Terrence Ross is back to play his former brothers in arms. Ex-Raps GM Jeff Weltman’s probably in the house to square off with his fellow franchise patriarch Masai Ujiri, too. And it’s not often pro players get to see their fathers during the 82 game grind of the season, but it’s Nikola Vucevic’s lucky night. His dad Marc Gasol will line up across from him at the opening tip.
Toronto leads the season series 1-0 thanks to a 104-95 win back on October 28th. The Raptors obviously look quite different today than they did three-plus weeks ago. Kyle Lowry, Serge Ibaka and Patrick McCaw remain sidelined — all of whom played substantial minutes in the first meeting. And of course in the intervening weeks the Raptors have sort of figured out their depth issues. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson freaking rules, as does Terence Davis. Chris Boucher and Matt Thomas have leveled up into rotation duty since the 28th as well.
On the Orlando side of the ledger, things haven’t gone super well for one of the trendier preseason picks to fight for home court in the Eastern Conference. The league’s ninth-best defense hasn’t been enough to counteract the Magic’s offense, which emits bottom-five level stink — and that’s with a 125-point effort against the plush Wizards D bumping things up their last time out.
It’s not all bad in Central Florida, though. Markelle Fultz has shown more than a few flashes of being more than nothing, and they’ll get Jonathan Isaac back in the lineup after he missed the last two games. Plus, Michael Carter-Williams is hurt, meaning he won’t be seeing any floor time tonight — never a bad thing if you’re a team hoping to, uhm, outscore the opponent.
Follow along with all the action with us right here! Here’s what you need to know ahead of tip (plus our preview from this morning).
Where to Watch
TSN @ 7:30pm ET
Orlando — Markelle Fultz, Evan Fournier, Jonathan Isaac, Aaron Gordon, Marc Gasol’s Son
Toronto — Fred VanVleet, Norman Powell, OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam, Nikola Vucevic’s Dad
Orlando — Michael Cater-Williams (hip — out)
Toronto — Kyle Lowry (thumb — out), Serge Ibaka (ankle — out), Patrick McCaw (knee — out), Stanley Johnson (groin — out)