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Game Thread: Toronto Raptors vs. Houston Rockets

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With most of their coaching staff and star player out, the Raptors are in a bit of a pickle as they prepare for the Houston Rockets tonight. Let’s watch.

NBA: Houston Rockets at Toronto Raptors John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The news? Well, the news is bad. Not cataclysmic, but not news you’d like to hear. As announced earlier today, most of the Raptors’ coaching staff will not be able to participate in this evening’s game against the Houston Rockets due to the league’s health and safety protocols. This includes head coach Nick Nurse — though GM Bobby Webster was unwilling before this game to name any other of the five coaches who’ll sit out.

Webster was also unable to confirm if the announcement of Pascal Siakam’s absence was related to the coaching news. Yes, Siakm is out tonight too due to health and safety reasons, but it’s unclear how this happened or what, if anything, it means for anybody else on the Raptors — or the Rockets for that matter. (Though we do know that Chris Boucher is in to start tonight.) What we know is this: the league has reviewed all the information, including the various tests that have been carried out on all NBA players and staff, and deemed it A-OK to proceed with the game. That’s that.

So now we just have to hope that enough precautions were actually taken and that the testing is indeed that accurate. For the Raptors, Sergio Scariolo will be the team’s head coach. And while Kyle Lowry can’t officially be their acting player-coach for the evening, I’m sure he’ll take the reins perhaps even more than he usually does. As for everything else: you know what, I just hope everyone makes it through the game. If the Raptors win, consider that a cherry on the sundae.

Here are the updated game details. And it is still possible to check in with Dylan’s Raptors-Rockets preview from this morning. Now, let’s watch.

Where to Watch:

TSN, 7:30 PM EST

Lineups:

Toronto – Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, Norman Powell, OG Anunoby, Chris Boucher

Houston – John Wall, Victor Oladipo, Danuel House Jr., Jae’Sean Tate, P.J. Tucker

Injuries:

Toronto – Pascal Siakam (out - health and safety protocols)

Houston – Dante Exum (out – calf), Christian Wood (out – ankle)