The Toronto Raptors have lost two straight games, and they were two of the ugliest losses you’ll ever see. The Raptors looked a step slow — heck, several steps slow — on both ends of the court, and were entirely out of both games long before the fourth quarter even started. And no disrespect to the Charlotte Hornets and Atlanta Hawks, but these aren’t exactly championship contenders!
Tonight’s opponent, the Brooklyn Nets, does fancy itself a contender, but with four potential starters injured, this is far from the peak version of the Nets — a very fortunate break for the Raptors, who need to turn things around quickly if they want to stay in the playoff chase, or at the very least, the chase for home-court advantage for a play-in game.
Before we get to the injury update, we have roster news! The Raptors announced today that they’ve signed DJ Wilson to a 10-day contract.
The Raptors have signed DJ Wilson to a 10-day contract. He’s available tonight.— Blake Murphy (@BlakeMurphyODC) February 28, 2022
Wilson had a pair of 10-days with Raps earlier as a COVID fill-in. With buyout market more or less set now, Wilson has a real chance to play for a contract.
As you may recall, Wilson spent some time here earlier this year when half the team was out with COVID, and he played pretty well in his limited minutes. He provides some bench depth — theoretically, at least, as Nick Nurse isn’t exactly known for running a deep bench!
As for tonight — and Wilson is available — the big news is that Fred VanVleet is out as he nurses his sore knee back to health. Starting in his place? Malachi Flynn! That’s unexpected, to be sure, although the irony that the Raptors have to start a player who's spent most of his young career in the doghouse, against a team for whom their nominal backup at the start of the year — Goran Dragic — now plays, is not lost on me
Meanwhile, OG Anunoby remains out with the fractured ring finger. Simmons, Durant, Irving and Johnson are all out for the Nets.
And with that, you’re up to date! So let’s settle in and watch, shall we?
Where to Watch:
TSN, 7:30PM EST
Toronto – Malachi Flynn, Gary Trent Jr., Scottie Barnes, Pascal Siakam, Khem Birch
Brooklyn – Patty Mills, Seth Curry, Bruce Brown Jr., James Johnson, Andre Drummond
Toronto — OG Anunoby (hand – out), Fred VanVleet (knee – out)
Brooklyn – Kevin Durant (knee – out), Kyrie Irving (ineligible – out), Ben Simmons (conditioning – out), Joe Harris (ankle – out)