It’s a snowy Toronto day, and a holiday weekend, and since you can’t go to Scotiabank Arena and you should be staying home and avoiding crowded places anyway... seems like the perfect time to grab some hot chocolate and settle in in front of the TV for some afternoon hoops!
The Toronto Raptors are about to tip off against the New York Knicks, and as is par for the course these days, it’s gonna be a weird one. Scotiabank Arena will be empty again, and the Knicks are down a whole bunch of guys, including Julius Randle and the reborn Kemba Walker.
With the Raptors fully healthy, this might well be Toronto’s chance to get some payback for the indignity that was last Sunday’s loss to Cleveland!
In terms of lineup updates from this morning, Isaac Bonga remains out; he’s cleared protocols but still needs some return to play conditioning. But Scottie Barnes? He’s back! You know what that means? This will be the first time we’ve seen a fully healthy Raptors squad this season:
If Scottie Barnes plays and there are no late scratches, today would be the first time all year the Raptors had their top seven available at once.— Blake Murphy (@BlakeMurphyODC) January 2, 2022
FVV, OG, Siakam, Barnes have still played just 52 minutes together. pic.twitter.com/m2WSpB4Fbf
(Thank you Blake for doing the math so that I don’t have to!)
One thing to watch out for today: Gary Trent Jr. He’s looked pretty rusty in his two games back in the lineup (10-for-36 from the floor), but he’s been giving it to the Knicks this season: 25 points per game on 50% shooting, plus 3.5 steals, in two games — both wins — vs. New York so far.
Let’s see how GTJ and the Raptors fare today!
Where to Watch:
TSN, 3:30 PM ET
Toronto – Fred VanVleet, Gary Trent Jr., Scottie Barnes, Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby
New York — RJ Barrett, Obi Toppin, Miles McBride, Evan Fournier, Taj Gibson
Toronto — Isaac Bonga (conditioning – out), David Johnson (calf – out), Goran Dragic (personal – out)
New York — Nerlens Noel, Julius Randle, Mitchell Robinson, Jericho Sims, Wayne Seldon (health and safety protocols – out), Kemba Walker (knee – out), Derrick Rose (ankle – out), Danuel House Jr. (finger – out), Evan Fournier (ankle – questionable)