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Game Thread: Toronto Raptors @ Cleveland Cavaliers

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NBA: Toronto Raptors at Cleveland Cavaliers Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The situation has gone from bad to worse for the Raptors from a player availability standpoint. Call it tanking if you want, but they’ve given Pascal Siakam the night off, and are already missing Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet, along with Paul Watson, Jalen Harris, and (maybe) Rodney Hood — he’s listed as probable now, which makes sense because the Raptors will need someone active to play againt the Cavaliers.

Before you ask, the injury report suggests Freddie Gillespie, recently signed to a 10-day contract, is available tonight. We’ll see if he finds his way onto the court tonight. Meanwhile, Khem Birch, who has already declared his intention to sign with the Raptors, is not on or with the team yet. All of this suggests once again that Toronto, now on the road in Cleveland, will be in tough against the Cavaliers. What else is new?

The Cavs are going through a few of their own injury concerns: new-ish centre Jarrett Allen is out tonight, along with glue guy Larry Nance Jr., but whoa: Kevin Love is back in the starting lineup! He’s always been a load for the Raptors, and it’ll be interesting to see how the team deals with him tonight. As for the rest of Cleveland, poor record or not, they’ve shown enough spunk this season not to be taken lightly. The healthy Raptors on hand will need to figure some things out in a hurry.

There was a time — as recently as this morning — when we though things would be different. Here’s the full preview from JD and below are the updated game details.

Where to Watch:

7:30pm on Sportsnet

Lineups:

Toronto — Malachi Flynn, Gary Trent Jr., DeAndre’ Bembry, OG Anunoby, Chris Boucher

Cleveland — Collin Sexton, Darius Garland, Isaac Okoro, Dean Wade, Kevin Love

Injuries:

Toronto — Kyle Lowry (foot – out), Rodney Hood (hip – probable), Paul Watson (health and safety protocols – out), Fred VanVleet (hip – out), Jalen Harris (hip – out), Freddie Gillespie (health and safety protocols – available!)

Cleveland — Jarrett Allen (concussion - out), Larry Nance Jr. (illness - out), Dylan Windler (knee – out)