Toronto plays the third game of six straight on the road tonight as they face the Houston Rockets for the first time this season.
The young, upstart Rockets sit only half a game back of the last play-in spot in the west at 22-25. Houston finished tied for second last in the NBA last season, and made some large splashes in free agency to get them into this position.
The largest add — not just for the team, but in the league — this past summer was signing former Raptors point guard Fred VanVleet to a three year deal worth $129 million. Tonight’s matchup marks the first time VanVleet will face his old team, hosting Toronto tonight before returning to Scotiabank Arena next Friday.
Houston’s other big free agency splash was Mississauga native Dillon Brooks. The forward signed a four year deal for $89 million, and has been a contentious figure in the NBA this season.
Unfortunately, we won’t be getting the matchup of Brooks guarding fellow Mississauga native RJ Barrett, as the Raptors forward has been ruled out for tonight’s game.
In better news, Immanuel Quickley and Jakob Poeltl will be back in the starting lineup tonight. Poeltl missed 11 straight games with an ankle injury, and the Raptors have missed the prescience he brings both as a roller on offence, and as a rim protector on defence.
The return of the two starters comes at a great time, as Toronto has not done great on the road this season with a 7-10 record. After coming back against the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night, the Raptors will attempt to pick up back to back road wins tonight.
How to Watch:
Sportsnet at 8:00 pm ET
Toronto: Immanuel Quickley, Gary Trent Jr., Bruce Brown, Scottie Barnes, Jakob Poeltl
Houston: Fred VanVleet, Jalen Green, Dillon Brooks, Jabari Smith Jr., Alperen Sengun
Toronto: RJ Barrett (out - knee), Jontay Porter (out - back)
Houston: Steven Adams (out - trade pending), Tari Eason (out - leg)