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Toronto Raptors at Orlando Magic Matchup: Response needed for Raps

Mired in mediocre basketball, can the Raptors shake things up without OG Anunoby in the lineup?

NBA: Toronto Raptors at Orlando Magic Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

Losing three of four heading into a weekend back-to-back, the Toronto Raptors missed their first chance to right their sinking ship against the Orlando Magic. They get another shot tonight.

The Raptors haven’t been a fun watch lately. Thanks to slow starts, a slumping Fred VanVleet and Scottie Barnes, and a lack of shooting up and down the roster, the only things fans can really hold on to are the all-around play of Pascal Siakam and the outstanding defense of OG Anunoby. Unfortunately tonight, one half of that equation will be missing — after playing 44 bruising minutes on Friday, Anunoby will miss Sunday’s game with hip soreness.

For Nick Nurse, that means elevating Gary Trent Jr. out of his sixth man role and into the starting lineup, where hopefully he can be an offensive spark for a unit that’s looked pretty one-note over the last two weeks. Whether it’s a team still finding its way with Siakam back in the fold, or one that needs to start exploring new strategies, the Raptors have to figure out some formulas for success in the half court — and do so early in games.

The Magic will look much the same, meanwhile. After dropping 34 points on Toronto two nights ago, Franz Wagner will be a centre of attention for the Raptors — and hopefully some walls can be put up to stop him from taking mainline drives to the basket. You know, typical defensive stuff!

Above all, we want to see effort — and a team that’s visibly playing for each other. The worst thing you can say about the Raptors over the last five games hasn’t been the poor play, it’s that nobody looks to be having that much fun, fans included. Let’s see if things can change tonight.

Here are the game details.

Where to watch:

Sportsnet One, 6:00 PM ET


Toronto Raptors — Fred VanVleet, Gary Trent Jr., Scottie Barnes, Pascal Siakam, Christian Koloko

Orlando Magic — Markelle Fultz, Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero, Bol Bol, Moritz Wagner


Toronto Raptors — OG Anunoby (hip soreness – out), Precious Achiuwa (ankle – out), Juancho Hernangomez (ankle – out), Otto Porter Jr. (toe – out)

Orlando Magic — Wendell Carter Jr. (foot – out), Gary Harris (hamstring – out), Jonathan Isaac (knee – out), Chuma Okeke (knee – out), Jalen Suggs (ankle – out)