The Raptors have now won 13 straight games, making it hard to bet against them in any upcoming contest. The Brooklyn Nets, the seventh place team currently playing without their two best players (Kyrie Irving, in and out of the lineup; Kevin Durant, out until next year), are not exactly a scary opponent — but the Raptors are also not whole. Minus Marc Gasol, Norman Powell, and now Kyle Lowry, winning game number 14 in a row may be a tall order.
And yet, how worried are you? Toronto, for all their injuries, continues to find ways to grind out wins. They’ve endured absences from all of their core players — Pascal Siakam, Serge Ibaka, and Fred VanVleet have also missed time, along with even Patrick McCaw (and Matt Thomas too!) — and it’s been astounding to watch them figure out ways to put together the healthy players they do have to work their way towards victory. It’s made for some surprises (e.g. Terence Davis) and some quality turns (OG Anunoby and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson’s seesawing usefulness). And it’s solidified the Raptors as a team that is incredibly difficult to put away.
The Nets have a couple of tricky players, winning guys who are trying their best to weather the storm of injuries and keep the ship afloat. I’m speaking here of course of Spencer Dinwiddie and Caris LeVert, both of whom promise to be a bit of a problem for Toronto. Much like the pairing of Lowry and VanVleet, Brooklyn uses their two guards as the fulcrums of the offense, finding ways to score or play-make, to eke out wins. The rest of the team, as currently constituted anyway, slots in behind Dinwiddie and LeVert. In that, the Raptors’ mission is obvious: they’ve got to slow them down.
And again, they’ll have to do it shorthanded. The Raptors have done this before, and it stands to reason they can do it again. That’s why we’ll want to take in tonight’s basketball game, really — to see how Toronto will find itself again on the path towards their 14th straight win. It makes for great entertainment.
Below are your updated game details, here’s the full preview from Joel from this morning, and now: let’s watch.
Where to Watch:
TSN 1/4 at 7:30pm EST
Toronto — Fred VanVleet, Terence Davis, OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam, Serge Ibaka
Brooklyn — Spencer Dinwiddie, Joe Harris, Caris LeVert, Taurean Prince, Jarrett Allen
Toronto — Marc Gasol (hamstring — out), Norman Powell (hand — out), Kyle Lowry (neck — questionable), Dewan Hernandez (ankle — out)
Brooklyn — Kyrie Irving (knee — doubtful), Kevin Durant (Achilles — out)