It’s not funny “ha-ha” but it is darkly comic that the pre-game scrum with coach Nick Nurse before tonight’s Raptors-Suns contest was almost entirely about an unruly idiot mob of fascists storming the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. To be clear, I’m not smiling about it — but it is possible to feel dumbfounded and even to choke out a laugh at the absurdity of it all. I mean, what are we doing here?
Nevertheless, here we are; the basketball will still be played. The Raptors are in Phoenix with their young season already off to a rough 1-5 start. The Suns, meanwhile, have managed to assemble a team that makes sense — led by veteran Chris Paul, talented Devin Booker, and the right complementary pieces (including former number one pick Deandre Ayton). They’re 5-2 and, for the first time in more than half a decade, seem built to last. What this means for the Raptors tonight could be trouble. Last season, their usual early-season west coast swing catalyzed the team’s whole identity, which made for a successful year — disrupted though it was.
And here we are, disrupted again. Nurse stated before the game that Kyle Lowry had spoken with Paul, and would again prior to tip-off, but that no decision has been made about whether tonight’s Suns-Raptors game will indeed be played. It’s after 8:30 as you read this so my feeling is it will all go on as planned — and to be honest: it’s possible to chuckle about that too. What a world.
Here’s Joseph Strauss from this morning with the more fulsome preview of Raptors-Suns. We’re still in it. Now, let’s watch.
Where to Watch
Sportsnet at 9:00pm EST
Toronto – Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam, Aron Baynes
Phoenix – Chris Paul, Devin Booker, Mikal Bridges, Jae Crowder, Deandre Ayton
Toronto – Patrick McCaw (out — knee)
Phoenix – None