The first time the Raptors played the Mavericks it was at the end of a five-game road trip. Toronto managed to hang on despite the absence of Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka before the superior talent of Luka Doncic — a legit MVP candidate — took over and put the game away. Obviously the Raptors would like to take another crack at it, with hopes for a different, more favourable, outcome. There chance to do so arrives today: the Mavs are indeed in Toronto — but the circumstances are quite different.
The situation this afternoon: the Raptors are down Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol, Norman Powell, [deep breath], Matt Thomas, Stanley Johnson (probably), and Dewan Hernandez. To balance the scales, the Mavs are down their main man, Doncic. That’s not to suggest that all those guys are equal to one Luka, but it certainly changes the context of this rematch. Lowry now gets his chance to right the previous defeat, but without almost half the starting lineup, it could prove to be difficult.
On the plus side for the Raptors, they are riding a four-game winning streak and did just welcome back Fred VanVleet from injury. He and Lowry can definitely tilt a game their way if they decide to, but it’ll be interesting to see how the two diminutive guards deal with, say, the focal point of the Mavericks right now, seven-foot behemoth Kristaps Porzingis. It’s a clash in styles, it’s not quite supposed to happen this way. And yet, here it is. Let’s watch.
Catch up with the full Raptors-Mavericks preview here from Zakaria Abdulle. Below are the updated game details.
Where to Watch:
Sportsnet One, 3:30pm EST
Toronto – Fred VanVleet, Kyle Lowry, Patrick McCaw, OG Anunoby, Serge Ibaka
Dallas – Jalen Brunson, Tim Hardaway Jr., Dorian Finney-Smith, Kristaps Porzingis, Dwight Powell
Toronto – Pascal Siakam (groin – OUT), Marc Gasol (hamstring – OUT), Norman Powell (shoulder – OUT), Matt Thomas (finger – OUT), Stanley Johnson (groin – doubtful), Dewan Hernandez (ankle – OUT)
Dallas – Luka Doncic (ankle – OUT), Seth Curry (back – probable), Delon Wright (finger – probable)