It feels like only yesterday when we and the Raptors were talking about .500 and beyond. The team was back and looked ready to rumble with everyone in the conference. It felt good, to be honest. But then the COVID health and safety situation hit, and, well, the Raptors haven’t quite been able to find their footing. Not even the All-Star break, with its provision for a week off, was able to make the team whole.
Their opponents tonight, the Charlotte Hornets, are now ahead of the Raptors in the standings, sitting in seventh place with a .500 record of their own. I don’t know if you’d call them a good team per se, but there’s enough punch there — with Gordon Hayward, Terry Rozier, and LaMelo Ball, among others — to mix things up and keep opponents on their toes. The Raptors are still down five pairs of those, as you’ll see on the injury report below, which means they’ll have to be faster and sharper still to get one over on Charlotte.
A win would help the mood around the Raptors right now. Yes, they have many reasons and excuses to be faltering in games — early, middle, and late — but it still stung to watch Tony Snell, of all people, drill a game-winning buzzer beater on Thursday night. Can the Raptors come back from that tonight in Charlotte? Can we?
We have the full Raptors-Hornets preview here from Joseph. Below are the updated game details, such as they are. Now, let’s watch.
Where to Watch:
Sportsnet One, 7:00 pm EST
Toronto – Kyle Lowry, Norman Powell, DeAndre’ Bembry, Stanley Johnson, Aron Baynes
Charlotte – LaMelo Ball, Terry Rozier, Gordon Hayward, PJ Washington, Cody Zeller
Toronto – Pascal Siakam (out – health and safety protocols), Fred VanVleet (out – health and safety protocols), OG Anunoby (out – health and safety protocols), Patrick McCaw (out – health and safety protocols), Malachi Flynn (out – health and safety protocols)
Charlotte – None. Astounding!