Now that we’ve reached the twilight zone between Christmas and New Year’s, it feels extra unfortunate that the Toronto Raptors can’t entertain our empty days with a more healthy team. Consider the matchups, too, as the Raps finish a home-and-home with the rival Celtics tonight at TD Garden — a game that would’ve amped up a lot more excitement if Toronto had just a few more bodies to roll out.
The news is starting to trickle a bit more positive, though! We’ve learned that Norman Powell is travelling with the team, though he’s still out for tonight’s game. This is a bit surprising given the length of time he was out with an identical shoulder subluxation injury last season (five weeks from mid-November to mid-December). If he were to come back before the calendar turns, it would be just two weeks since he left the Pistons game. Just goes to show you the risks of playing couch doctor.
The better news, painfully, goes to the Boston Celtics, who are getting Marcus Smart back after eight missed games due to an eye injury.
No surprises on the 530 injury report: Nobody back for Raptors (Thomas and Powell traveling but no returns imminent), Marcus Smart back for Celtics.— Blake Murphy (@BlakeMurphyODC) December 28, 2019
Smart will return to his official role as Ultimate Bench Pest, and could definitely be a thorn in the side of Kyle Lowry, who’s playing some of his best basketball of the season since the great Pistons injury massacre.
Regardless, there’s some motivation for the Raptors to show up a little better than they did on Christmas morning, as they look to settle a home-and-home that began with a 118-102 loss.
Here are the game details. Let’s watch.
Where to Watch
TSN, 7 PM ET
Toronto — Fred VanVleet, Kyle Lowry, Patrick McCaw, OG Anunoby, Serge Ibaka
Boston — Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum, Daniel Theis
Toronto — Pascal Siakam (out - groin), Marc Gasol (out - hamstring), Norman Powell (out - shoulder), Matt Thomas (out - finger), Dewan Hernandez (out - ankle)
Boston — Robert Williams (out - hip), Vincent Poirier (out - finger)