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Toronto Raptors v Atlanta Hawks

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Toronto Raptors vs Atlanta Hawks: Preview, TV Schedule, Injuries and more

A pair of underperforming teams meet for the first of two games at Scotiabank Arena as the Raptors welcome the Hawks.

Photo by Adam Hagy/NBAE via Getty Images

The Toronto Raptors have lost its last 4 games and 6 of the last 7.

The Atlanta Hawks have lost its last 4 games and 6 of the last 7.

Atlanta and Toronto are very similar in that they are mid-tier teams who are slumping toward the lottery as up-and-coming teams leapfrog them in the standings. Both teams are “stuck” but in different ways.

The Hawks are locked into its core — Trae Young, Dejounte Murray, Clint Capela, De’Andre Hunter, Bogdan Bogdanovic, and Onyeka Okongwu — through next season. They also have exciting young talent in AJ Griffin, Kobe Bufkin, and Jalen Johnson (more on him below) ready to make their respective leaps. But with a 9-13 record and this roster having approximately 100 games together (after Murray joined), it’s safe to say that they are who they are at this point! That can’t be reassuring to Hawks fans.

I was going to use this paragraph to outline how the Raptors are stuck but Toronto sports fans are down bad enough.

This figures to be an enjoyable, fast-paced matchup of desperate teams. The Hawks rank 3rd in pace and 3rd in scoring. The Raptors rank 3rd in transition frequency, which bodes well against an Atlanta team that ranks 26th in transition points allowed per possession. When these teams met on Halloween last season, the Raptors scored more transition points (43) in the game than any other team for the entire 2022-23 season.

How to Watch:

Sportsnet at 7:30 p.m. ET

Lineups:

Toronto: Dennis Schroder, Pascal Siakam, O.G. Anunoby, Scottie Barnes, Jakob Poeltl

Atlanta: Trae Young, Dejounte Murray, De’Andre Hunter, Saddiq Bey, Clint Capela

Injuries:

Toronto: Christian Koloko (respiratory; out)

Atlanta: Kobe Bufkin (thumb; out), Mouhamed Gueye (back; out), De’Andre Hunter (knee; questionable), Jalen Johnson (wrist; out), Trae Young (shoulder; probable)

Super Sub from Serbia

Bogdan Bogdanovic is one of the early favourites for the Sixth Man of the Year award, leading all reserves in scoring with 17.2 points per game.

In Monday’s home game against the defending champion Nuggets, Bogdanovic became the first player in NBA history to start the game on the bench and still drain 10 three-pointers......in a loss. He also became the second reserve player to hit 10 threes AND score at least 40 points. The only other player to do that was the incomparable J.R. Smith — who did it twice!

Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows

William Shakespeare wrote this memorable line in The Tempest. I won’t pretend to know what that play was about or any context surrounding the quote, but I do like what it means — especially for this segment. Atlanta and Toronto have underwhelmed this season. Atlanta and Toronto may very well meet in the play-in tournament. Atlanta and Toronto have All-Star-calibre players, yet continue finding themselves on the wrong end of scoreboards.

It’s only fitting that these two teams were constantly linked in trade rumours over the summer. With the unofficial start of trade season kicking in on Friday, it would behoove Masai Ujiri and former Raptor, Landry Fields, to spend the next couple of days revisiting the conversations that may or may not have happened (in addition to, you know, watching their teams play each other twice over the next 72 hours).

When is a trade, not a trade?

Atlanta’s biggest offseason transaction was off-loading John Collins. I’m very hesitant to say he was “traded away” because what exactly did Atlanta get in return?

On July 7th, Collins was traded to Utah for Rudy Gay and a 2026 second-round pick. The following day, the Hawks sent someone named Alpha Kaba(?!?) to the Rockets for Usman Garuba, Ty Ty Washington, and second-round picks in 2025 & 2028. A few days later, Atlanta traded all of those incoming players — Gay, Garuba, Washington — plus the 2026 pick from Utah to the Thunder for Patty Mills.

To summarize, the Atlanta Hawks traded John Collins for Patty Mills and second picks in 2025 & 2028. Collins was only 2 years into his 5 year / $125 million contract and Mills has only played in two games (no injuries). Colour me confused!

The Hawks clearly wanted to give more playing time to Jalen Johnson, who has done very well to start the season: 14.1 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.1 steals, 1.0 blocks, 59/43/76 shooting. But after (seemingly) years of being dangled in trade talks, you’d figure Atlanta could have gotten a better return. (Maybe this is a good trade partner for Masai and Bobby!)

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