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New York Knicks v Toronto Raptors

Toronto Raptors vs. New York Knicks Matchup: Battle of Wits

In a non-sensical season, here’s your non-sensical game thread.

Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images

The Raptors have listed Fred VanVleet as questionable* for this afternoon’s matinee matchup with the Knicks.

The Battle of Wits has begun!

Is Nick Nurse the sort of man who would put Fred VanVleet on the injured report to hurt his team’s or the Knicks' chances of winning? Now, a clever man would hurt his own team’s chances because he would know that only a great fool would reach for a play-in position instead of tanking for Victor Wembanyama. We are not great fools so we can clearly not choose that reasoning. But Nurse must have known we were not great fools; he would have counted on it, so we can clearly not choose the reasoning that Fred’s struggles of late would actually help New York win.

Injury reports are submitted to the NBA by the Raptors staff. As everyone knows, the Raptors don’t leak. Folks that don’t leak are used to having people not trust them, as they are not trusted by us. So, we can clearly not choose the reasoning that Freddy’s absence hurts Toronto’s prospects of winning.

They would have suspected that we would not trust their leak, so we can clearly not choose to believe that VanVleet’s absence harms New York’s chances of winning.

Have I stalled long enough?

You’d like to think that, wouldn’t you? The Raptors defeated the Pistons and Suns without FVV, so he clearly doesn’t hurt their chances of winning. But, VanVleet shot 11% and was a pylon on defense against the Hawks, so he clearly doesn’t hurt their chances of losing.

The Raptors are trying to trick us but they’ve given everything away! We know exactly why Fred was placed on the injury report, it’s because.....whoa, look at that, Spike Lee is sitting courtside!

(If you’re under the age of 35 or haven’t watched The Princess Bride, what you just read made zero sense. To be fair, none of this season has made sense. Just be happy you can watch Siakam play at an All-NBA level, Anunoby play elite defense, and Barnes develop into a star! Be even happier if all three occur at the Mecca tonight!)

*VanVleet has been upgraded to AVAILABLE but the spirit of this preview remains!

Where to watch:

TSN 1/4/5, 3:00 PM ET

Starting Lineups:

Toronto Raptors — Fred VanVleet, Gary Trent Jr., O.G. Anunoby, Pascal Siakam, Scottie Barnes

New York Knicks — Jalen Brunson, RJ Barrett, Quentin Grimes, Julius Randle, Mitchell Robinson


Toronto Raptors — Dalano Banton (G League assignment – OUT), Ron Harper Jr. (G League assignment – OUT), Otto Porter Jr. (Dislocated toe – OUT)

New York Knicks — DaQuan Jeffries (G League assignment – OUT), Trevor Keels (G League assignment – OUT)

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