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Game Thread: Toronto Raptors vs. New Orleans Pelicans

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The Raptors tip-off their home and season opener tonight against the New Orleans Pelicans. Yes, the squads are in Tampa, but Toronto is all set for 2020-21. Let’s watch.

NBA: Preseason-Miami Heat at Toronto Raptors Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve run through all 17 members of the 2020-21 Toronto Raptors. We’ve had a few thoughts. We’ve documented the latest contracts, and contemplated some potential deals. We’ve evenly keenly watched a few preseason contests. But now it’s time for some actual basketball games that matter. Tonight: the Raptors tip-off their 26th season against the New Orleans Pelicans. It’s the team’s home opener — even though it’s happening in Tampa.

Yes, the pall of Florida will hang over this season, there’s no denying that. While the Raptors are still the Raptors — with Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam, and OG Anunoby as the core of the team — it won’t quite be the same this year until the whole gang tips off a game in Toronto. That doesn’t mean we won’t be rooting for this year’s squad however. We’ll still be hoping the stay safe, take care, and yes: win some games.

Tonight’s task will be to take down the hard-charging Pelicans, a team with a cadre of interesting and noteworthy players. While we can run down the list — Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Steven Adams, and the like — no Pelicans are more compelling than former number one pick, Zion Williamson. Last season, the Raptors played the team twice (including in their season opener) without Zion present, winning both times. So this time around will be a bit different in more ways than one.

Here’s the preview from John Gaudes this morning. Below are the updated details. And now, here we go — let’s watch.

Where to Watch

TSN at 7:30pm EST

Lineups:

Toronto — Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam, Aron Baynes

New Orleans — Lonzo Ball, Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Ingram, Zion Williamson, Steven Adams

Injuries

Toronto — Patrick McCaw (out - knee)

New Orleans — Wenyen Gabriel (out - knee/quad)