The Raptors have 12 games left and while tonight’s contest against the Cavaliers will not decide their season, it’s one of those games they just have to win if they’re serious about making the playoffs. Yes, there’s a lot that has to happen before Toronto can even sniff the eighth seed, but beating teams you’re supposed to beat would be a good start.
And to be clear: the 21-39 Cleveland Cavaliers minus seven players — including young gun Collin Sexton, and stalwarts Larry Nance Jr., Taurean Prince, and Matthew Dellavedova — are a team the Toronto Raptors are supposed to beat.
The Raptors enter this game down a few players of their own (what else is new?): we know about Chris Boucher, who’ll sit until at least the West coast trip, along with poor Paul Watson Jr. and Jalen Harris, but now we can add Gary Trent Jr. to the mix, out tonight with a lower leg contusion. This is unfortunate, but the main takeaway is here that the core Raptors, including their new starting centre Khem Birch, will be playing together this evening — and that could very well be the difference between a win, a loss, and the end of the season sooner than perhaps we’d all like.
For a more complete read on the game, check out Sully’s Raps-Cavs preview from this morning here and get up to speed with the details below. And then, as always, let’s watch.
Where to Watch:
TSN at 7:30 pm EST
Toronto — Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam, Khem Birch
Cleveland — Darius Garland, Isaac Okoro, Cedi Osman, Kevin Love, Jarrett Allen
Toronto — Chris Boucher (knee - out), Paul Watson Jr. (knee - out), Gary Trent Jr. (lower leg - out), Jalen Harris (hip - questionable)
Cleveland — Collin Sexton (concussion – out), Taurean Prince (ankle – out), Matthew Dellavedova (neck - out), Larry Nance Jr. (thumb - out), Isaiah Hartenstein (concussion - out), Dylan Windler (knee – out), Lamar Stevens (concussion - out)