Has an NBA team ever threatened to boycott a game due to the presence of a particular player on the other team? A quick google search tells me no, but if I’m the Toronto Raptors, I might’ve considered boycotting tonight’s game against the Miami Heat if the NBA didn’t suspend Caleb Martin.
Because Martin has proven dangerous to the Raptors, and the league has chosen, for the most part, to let him get away with it. Last year, Martin deliberately tried to injure Scottie Barnes by shoving him in the back after a breakaway dunk; Martin didn’t even receive a flagrant foul, let alone get tossed or fined.
On Saturday, Martin inexplicably stared down Christian Koloko after the pair got tangled up chasing a rebound; even more inexplicably, Martin then shoved the Raptors’ rookie into the first row, apparently for the offense of merely standing up. And somehow the officials decided to eject both players?
So thank goodness the league suspended Martin because if he were playing in tonight’s game, I’d be worried about him trying to maim another Raptor!
As for who is playing — Chris Boucher is available! If he gets on the floor he should provide some energy off the bench, which has been pretty lacking for the Raptors thus far. Scottie Barnes, who rolled an ankle Saturday, won’t play; he’ll likely be replaced in the starting lineup by Toronto’s only semi-reliable bench scorer to date — Precious Achiuwa — making the bench even thinner. (Late update: Koloko will start in Barnes’ place!)
Can Boucher provide the spark to put Toronto back in the win column? Let’s watch!
Where to watch:
Sportsnet, 7:30pm ET
Toronto – Fred VanVleet, Gary Trent Jr., O.G. Anunoby, Pascal Siakam,
Precious Achiuwa, Christian Koloko
Miami – Kyle Lowry, Tyler Herro, Max Strus, Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo
Toronto – Otto Porter Jr. (hamstring – out), Scottie Barnes (ankle – out)
Miami – Victor Oladipo (knee – out), Caleb Martin (suspension – out), Omer Yurtseven (ankle – out), Nikola Jovic (suspension – out)