Winners of their last six-games and eight of their last 10, the Toronto Raptors have — finally — blossomed into the playoff contending team that Masai Ujiri, Bobby Webster and Nick Nurse knew they could be. Having beaten the likes of the top seeded Miami Heat, surging Atlanta Hawks and then-playoff-bound Charlotte Hornets twice in the 10-game span, Toronto has shown that they can flex their muscle against top-talent.
Enter the Oklahoma City Thunder — a team decidedly short on top-talent and missing their premiere player and local Ontario hero, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Now, Lu Dort and Josh Giddey still exist, but this is a prime example of a team that Toronto should wallop en route to a decisive victory. Having said that, if you’ve watched the Toronto Raptors for long enough, you know that the team can, at times, play down to their opponent.
In fact, Toronto has done just that this season against the Thunder already! Way back at the beginning of December, the Raptors lost a heart-breaker to OKC 110-109 on a waved-off tip-in at the buzzer from Justin Champagnie. OG Anunoby was absent from that matchup and Nick Nurse was still playing more than seven players, so the terms have changed.
Can Toronto overcome the scrappy Thunder to insert some distance between themselves and the 7th seed Boston Celtics? Tune in to find out!
Where to Watch:
Sportsnet, 8:00PM ET
Toronto – Fred VanVleet, Gary Trent Jr., Scottie Barnes, Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby
Oklahoma City — Darius Bazley, Luguentz Dort, Mamadi Diakite, Tre Mann, Josh Giddey
Toronto — Goran Dragic (personal – out)
Oklahoma City — Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (ankle – out), Mike Muscala (ankle — out), Isaiah Roby (ankle – out), Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (foot – out), Aaron Wiggins (ankle – out)