Just another normal one for Raptors fans, right? Eyes blinking, ears throbbing with our Super Bowl hangovers, we were greeted this morning with unsubstantiated reports (again) that the Raptors are shopping Kyle Lowry to interested teams.
The Toronto Raptors could trade Kyle Lowry, per Bleacher Report— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) February 8, 2021
"There is a portion of Raptors personnel, league sources said, that believes the franchise should bid its beloved All-Star farewell and begin Toronto's next chapter in earnest." pic.twitter.com/FkgdTLYb9b
The smoke has been accumulating on this front for a while, but without a fire, it’s just become another distraction to what the Raptors actually are (and not what the rest of the league perceives them to be).
This is a team that’s actually on a bit of a come up, with much credit due to Lowry himself. It was the Raptors veteran who led the team to a victory over Brooklyn on Friday, and while the team couldn’t back it up with a win over the Hawks on Saturday, they’ve won three of four and continue to eke their way into the Eastern Conference playoff picture at 10-13.
What would we do without Lowry? Well, for one, tonight’s backcourt matchup would be far less interesting on paper. The combination of Lowry and Fred VanVleet will have their work cut out for them against Ja Morant and (noted Canadian talent) Dillon Brooks, who have averaged over 31 points per game during the last ten games. The Grizzlies have lost three straight, but at 9-9 have managed to navigate a number of injuries to stay in the hunt in the competitive West.
As for the Raptors injuries, there’s nothing new to report. OG Anunoby is likely to remain out until the end of this road trip, so it’ll be Norman Powell in the starting lineup yet again.
For a more detailed look at tonight’s game, check out this morning’s preview from Satbir Singh. Here are the game details.
Where to Watch
TSN, 8 PM ET
Toronto — Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, Norman Powell, Pascal Siakam, Aron Baynes
Memphis — Ja Morant, Dillon Brooks, Kyle Anderson, Gorgui Dieng, Xavier Tillman
Toronto — OG Anunoby (out - calf), Patrick McCaw (out - knee)
Memphis — Jaren Jackson Jr. (out - knee), Justise Winslow (out - hip), Sean McDermott (out - shoulder), De’Anthony Melton (out - shoulder), Brandon Clarke (out - calf), Killian Tillie (out - foot)