After a blowout loss on Friday night, the Raptors will hope to rebound against one of the top teams in the NBA tonight.
The Thunder sit first in the Western Conference and second in the league with a record of 34-15. Having missed the playoffs since the 2020 NBA Bubble, OKC has built up a young core of young stars surrounding Canadians Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Lu Dort. Josh Giddey, Jalen Williams, Cason Wallace and Chet Holmgren are all recent first round draft picks that round out their starting five and sixth-man, making for one of the best — and youngest — rosters in the league.
Led by the superstardom of SGA, the guard from Hamilton, Ontario is putting up more than 30 points a night for the second consecutive year, all while leading the league in steals per game this season. With Joel Embiid likely missing the cut-off of 65 games to be eligible for awards, SGA has been bumped up to the second-favourite to win MVP, trailing only Nikola Jokic.
The Canadian superstar led the Senior Men’s National Team to its first Olympic birth in decades with his performances in the qualifiers this past fall, and will lead the team into the 2024 Summer Olympics in July. Before then, Gilgeous-Alexander will obviously lead his Western Conference leading Thunder into the playoffs with the hope of winning the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
In more Canadian player news, RJ Barrett will make his return to the Raptors lineup tonight, after missing the last handful of games with a knee injury. His scoring presence will be much-needed against one of the NBA’s top teams and defences in OKC.
Coming off an embarrassing 29-point loss to Houston, the Raptors need to be playing their best basketball tonight to rebound from the tough loss and attempt to upset one of the league’s best.
How to Watch:
Sportsnet at 7:00 pm ET
Toronto: Immanuel Quickley, Gary Trent Jr., RJ Barrett, Scottie Barnes, Jakob Poeltl
Oklahoma City: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Josh Giddey, Lu Dort, Cason Wallace, Chet Holmgren
Toronto: Jontay Porter (out - back)
Oklahoma City: Isaiah Joe (out - sternum), Tre Mann (out - personal), Jalen Williams (out - ankle)