The light at the end of the tunnel is here for the Toronto Raptors and their recent COVID-19 outbreak, as a handful of rotation players return out of health and safety protocols tonight. The matchup with the Los Angeles Clippers at Scotiabank Arena will be abnormal for another reason, though (because there has to be something) as the game will be closed to ticketed fans.
It will be a strange end to a strange year for the Raptors, who could have several books written about their 2021: two outbreaks, a half-season in Tampa — and on the more positive side — the drafting and immediate impact of Scottie Barnes, along with the day one leadership from Fred VanVleet.
Coming into tonight, Barnes was the only meaningful question mark remaining for Toronto’s rotation — as he was questionable with right knee tendinitis. The verdict is: Barnes is out.
Bonga & Wilson put with protocols; Barnes is out with knee tendinitis. Nurse says ‘he’s as surprised as you are’ re: Barnes coming up sore, given time off etc.— Michael Grange (@michaelgrange) December 31, 2021
The Clippers, meanwhile, are going through the struggles we’re seeing across the league. Paul George’s elbow injury has left the team thin, and a health and safety protocols buffet — including Ivica Zubac and Brandon Boston Jr. — has only made things worse.
We’ll see where it all lands in a few hours. For now, grab the prosecco, chill your glass, and get ready to say sayonara to 2021. Here are the game details.
Where to Watch:
TSN, 7:30PM EST
Toronto – Fred VanVleet, Gary Trent Jr., OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam, Khem Birch
Los Angeles – Eric Bledsoe, Luke Kennard, Terance Mann, Marcus Morris Sr., Serge Ibaka
Toronto — Scottie Barnes (knee tendinitis – out), D.J. Wilson (health and safety protocols – out), Isaac Bonga (health and safety protocols – out), David Johnson (calf – out), Goran Dragic (personal – out)
Los Angeles – Ivica Zubac (health and safety protocols – out), Brandon Boston Jr. (health and safety protocols – out), Nicolas Batum (ankle – out), Moses Wright (health and safety protocols – out), Jay Scrubb (health and safety protocols – out) Paul George (elbow – out), Isaiah Hartenstein (ankle – out), Jason Preston (foot – out), Kawhi Leonard (knee – out)