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Game Thread: Toronto Raptors vs. San Antonio Spurs

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For Boxing Day, the Raptors are now in San Antonio for a showdown with the Spurs. It’s just the second game of the new season, but there’s some emotional weight to this one. Let’s watch.

NBA: Toronto Raptors at San Antonio Spurs Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

As time passes, the meetings between the Raptors and Spurs will come to hold less and less meaning. No one really gets up for San Antonio vs. Miami showdowns, but there once was a time...

I digress. Since the Kawhi trade in the summer of 2018, the Raptors and Spurs have become linked in the recent league history. It’ll pass, but for now it definitely is what it is. What’s more, there remain emotional links today — between stars Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, former rookies Pascal Siakam and Jakob Poeltl, even in how the Raptors now wish to carry themselves as compared to how the Spurs have always been perceived. Time will indeed gradually alter all of this, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves again.

There’s no way around this though: we’re into just the second game of the 2020-21 regular season, and as such this is still very much a fact finding mission. The Raptors lost their first game, while the Spurs won theirs; it’s a minor thing in the broader picture, but it’s also something Toronto will have to overcome. A successful season erases a lot of old memories, but this year for the Raptors is one of transition — and it’s possible an 0-2 start will stick out.

Fortunately, the Raptors are all very much together, save Pat McCaw, and have hopefully learned a few lessons since opening night on the 23rd. There are issues to work out, but still time to do so. As we settle in for Boxing Day, the most non-descript of statutory holidays, let’s enjoy a bit of charged basketball — the players have a reason to care, and so do we.

Here’s Muad Issa from this morning with the full Raptors-Spurs rundown.

Where to Watch

Sportsnet, 8:30pm EST

Lineups:

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

San Antonio — Dejounte Murray, Lonnie Walker, Keldon Johnson, DeMar DeRozan, LaMarcus Aldridge

AD

Injuries

Toronto — Patrick McCaw (day-to-day)

San Antonio — Derrick White (out - toe), Quinndary Weatherspoon (day-to-day)