We don’t have to do the full Sisyphus act here, with all recent progress lost and forgotten in a moment, but this is still no less true: if the Raptors somehow lose to the Minnesota Timberwolves again tonight, it’ll undo much of the goodwill they’ve accrued over the past week. Yes, it’s just one game in a long, bizarre season — but still, come on, it’s the freakin’ 7-22 Timberwolves. The Raptors have to just put them away.
The elements working against Toronto tonight are two-fold. For one, they will be playing without Kyle Lowry, which hasn’t exactly killed their chances of winning previously — they’re 16-2 since the start of 2019-20 without their captain — but it doesn’t quite help the overall mood. And this is connected to the second problem. As we’ve mentioned, the Raptors are on the second night of a back-to-back, coming off a solid win on Thursday night against Milwaukee, and there’s a chance for a letdown here. If I was a betting man, I’d say that won’t happen tonight, but the non-zero chance is there nonetheless.
Without Lowry, you can squint and see the near-future for the Raptors. Fred VanVleet orchestrating and bombing threes, Pascal Siakam getting buckets and covering ground, and OG Anunoby doing a little bit (or a lot) of everything. (Though not tonight as the Raptors have decided to give him the night off as a precautionary measure too. Whoops!) Other players slot in here as well, especially with the Raptors roster coming together as of late in a way that makes sense, but that’s the core. And that’s the trio that will have to get it done tonight against Karl-Anthony Town and the Timberwolves.
For more on tonight’s Raptors-Wolves encounter, read JD’s preview from this morning. Below are the updated details. Now, let’s watch.
Where to Watch
TSN, 9:00 PM ET
Toronto — Fred VanVleet, DeAndre’ Bembry, Norman Powell, Pascal Siakam, Chris Boucher
Minnesota — Ricky Rubio, Malik Beasley, Anthony Edwards, Jarred Vanderbilt, Karl-Anthony Towns
Toronto — Kyle Lowry (thumb - out), Patrick McCaw (knee - probable), OG Anunoby (calf - out)
Minnesota — D’Angelo Russell (leg - out), Jarrett Culver (ankle - out)