We theorized about it the other day, but now the idea of the Toronto Raptors’ new Bash Brothers will be put into practice in a different way. What do I mean? Well, as we’ve seen of late, the Raptors have employed lineups featuring both OG Anunoby and Stanley Johnson. The latter has been featured as of late as a playmaking forward and defensive stopper, often duplicating the stellar abilities of the former. It’s been cool to watch OG and Stanley play together — except OG is not playing tonight. So we have to ask: can Johnson go all-out in Anunoby’s role?
Unfortunately for Johnson and the Raptors, tonight’s contest is no light affair. With Anunoby out, it will likely be Stanley’s job to do what he can to slow down the Milwaukee Bucks’ two-time reigning league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. This is not a job for one man, but the Raptors will need Johnson to carry as much of the load as he can alone because there aren’t many other options for the team right now. Pascal Siakam is still listed as questionable, so even if he does indeed play tonight, he may be limited. [Update: he’s active now.] Meanwhile, the Chris Boucher rollercoaster might be on a bit of a downslope, and it remains to be seen if Yuta Watanabe is up to the task. (There’s also no way to ask Aron Baynes to do much against Giannis; he’s already been dunked into oblivion by the Greek Freak a few too many times over the years.)
In all, the Raptors are in deep tonight. Though the luster has come off the Bucks a bit this season, and they’re currently behind the Sixers in the standings, there’s little doubt this is still a talented team. And unlike in the past couple of years when the Raptors could — and did — come together to beat Milwaukee, this season has not given us as much cause to be confident.
And yet, the Raptors have surprised us before. In that spirit, get up to speed with John’s preview from this morning. Check the updated game details below. And then, let’s watch.
Where to Watch
TSN at 7:30pm EST
Toronto [Updated] — Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, Norman Powell, Pascal Siakam, Aron Baynes
Milwaukee — Jrue Holiday, Donte DiVincenzo, Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Brook Lopez
Toronto — Pascal Siakam (knee – available), OG Anunoby (calf – out) Patrick McCaw (knee – out)
Milwaukee — N/A (how lucky is that?)