In the grand scheme of things, a race for the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference wouldn’t rank very high on the best plots in the NBA right now.
Still, it’s what Toronto Raptors fans are left hanging on to with eight games left in the season. Both the Raps and the Atlanta Hawks in front of them have been lockstep — one step forward, one step back — since the All-Star Break, and one game still separates them in the standings. All other opportunities have disintegrated. We have to hold on to the hope of one home game in a not-quite-postseason. I wouldn’t buy tickets for this movie, yet I’m watching it anyway.
Standing in the way tonight are the Washington Wizards, who will be down two key starters in Bradley Beal (knee) and Kyle Kuzma (ankle). Kristaps Porzingis is still here, as his former Raptor and friendly fellow Delon Wright. Watch out for Daniel Gafford put backs too I guess?
Injuries have beleagued the Raptors too in recent days, as Scottie Barnes, Gary Trent Jr. and Precious Achiuwa all entered today with their questionable tags thanks to various stiffness and soreness. There’s good news on that front pre-game, though, as the Raptors are expecting both Barnes and Achiuwa back in the lineup tonight.
Barnes is in for Raptors vs. Wizards: https://t.co/cvrV36dhpj— Michael Grange (@michaelgrange) March 26, 2023
Raptors will start VanVleet, Barnes, Siakam, Anunoby, and Poeltl— Blake Murphy (@BlakeMurphyODC) March 26, 2023
Wiz go with Delon, Kispert, Avdija, Porzingis, and Gafford
If you’re a scoreboard watcher, keep an eye on the Grizzlies-Hawks game going on at the same time tonight. A Raptors win and a Hawks loss would see Toronto finally jump into the No. 8 spot after a week or two of teasing.
Got the stakes nailed down? Here are the rest of the game details.
Where to Watch:
Sportsnet, 6:00PM ET
Toronto Raptors — Fred VanVleet, Scottie Barnes, OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam, Jakob Poeltl
Washington Wizards — Delon Wright, Kristaps Porzingis, Daniel Gafford, Deni Avdija, Corey Kispert
Toronto Raptors — Gary Trent (elbow – out), Joe Wieskamp (hamstring – out), Dalano Banton (thumb – out), Otto Porter Jr. (foot – out)
Washington Wizards — Monte Morris (groin – questionable), Bradley Beal (knee – out), Kyle Kuzma (ankle – out)