The most important thing for the Toronto Raptors going up against the Sacramento Kings is that at least the Raptors should be fresh. Yes, they’re on the second night of a back to back, but the first game on a long road trip is always fakakta. Plus, the Raptors’ starters only played between 30 and 35 minutes in a miserable loss to the Utah Jazz. That’s nothing for them! Yes, they should be fresh as daisies. (Are daisies famously more fresh than other flowers?)
Toronto gets another chance to prove that its excellent defense at the beginning of the season wasn’t a mirage. It really might have been, so stay tuned to the always fun game of “what are the Raptors going to be bad at tonight?” It’s a weird little stretch of six losses in seven games because we know the Raptors are excellent at so many things, and yet they can’t seem to put them all together at the same time. At least Fred VanVleet remains a boss, always, ready to will the Raptors to victory like a character right out of a spaghetti western.
The Kings are also on a little bit of a tailspin. (Only five losses in six games, though, so the Kings are comparatively volcanic at the moment.) De’Aaron Fox just hasn’t put it together yet this year, with his scoring and efficiency down, and his turnovers up. Toronto should look to prey on him with their ultra-aggressive scheme. Similarly, Davion Mitchell looks like he’ll have a wonderful future, and he’s already a defensive menace, but he’s another guard on whom Toronto can pick with its defense. A pair of marks, the both of them!
But Buddy Hield is throwing flames like a darn firebender, and Richaun Holmes is playing like the All-Star center who got away. There are plenty of ways that this could go wrong for Toronto if the defense breaks down. Hield (or Harrison Barnes) hitting a baker’s dozen triples or Holmes throwing down lob after lob are only two of the possible pitfalls. Every team is scary in the NBA when your defense is broken!
Tip-off: 10:00pm EDT | TV: SN | Radio: SN 590
The over-under is 218.5, and Toronto is +4.
OG Anunoby (hip) is out. Precious Achiuwa (shoulder) and Yuta Watanabe (calf) haven’t officially been ruled out as of this writing, but I’d be very surprised if their status changes.
PG: Fred VanVleet, Dalano Banton, Malachi Flynn, Goran Dragic
SG: Gary Trent Jr, Svi Mykhailiuk, David Johnson
SF: Pascal Siakam, Justin Champagnie
PF: Scottie Barnes, Isaac Bonga
C: Khem Birch
All healthy. Is that even possible? It feels like Toronto hasn’t been healthy since 2018-19. Maybe that’s the price of being healthy during a playoff run. Worth it.
PG: De’Aaron Fox, Davion Mitchell
SG: Tyrese Haliburton, Terence Davis
SF: Chimezie Metu, Buddy Hield, Maurice Harkless
PF: Harrison Barnes, Marvin Bagley
C: Richaun Holmes, Tristan Thompson, Alex Len
Gameday: Raptors @ Kings, November 19 originated on Raptors Republic.