NBA: Injuries continue to consume Raptors as they host Nets
The Toronto Raptors will attempt to overcome a handful of injuries, with one of those potentially being Scottie Barnes’ sprained left knee, when they clash with the visiting Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night.
Barnes did not practice on Tuesday and is considered day-to-day.
The Raptors have not played since Saturday, when they lost 124-122 in overtime to the host Atlanta Hawks. Barnes had 28 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists in that game.
Toronto is not sure when Barnes’ injury occurred, but it does not believe that it is serious
“I don’t think it’s terribly bad, but we’ll see how it progresses,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said.
The timing is bad, however.
“With all the guys out, we’ve just got to go night to night right now,” Nurse said. “We’re just trying to survive the next game.”
Toronto’s injury list includes Pascal Siakam (right adductor strain), Precious Achiuwa (right ankle sprain), Otto Porter Jr. (toe dislocation) and Justin Champagnie (lower back soreness). All have been ruled out for the game Wednesday, and Dalano Banton (ankle) is questionable.
Gary Trent Jr. (hip and illness) and Chris Boucher (illness) are expected to return on Wednesday.
The Raptors have split eight games since Siakam was injured during a loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Nov 4.
“Not having Pascal is one thing, but the other numerous guys out was probably another,” Nurse said. “I’d say when you look at it in totality, 4-4 with all the bodies that are out is probably OK.”
Although they are shorthanded, the Raptors will now try to take advantage of the Nets, who will be playing the second game of a back-to-back after a 115-106 road loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday.
Kyrie Irving scored 23 points for the Nets and Kevin Durant added 20. Ben Simmons, a former 76er, had 11 points, seven rebounds and 11 assists and was showered with boos in his return to Philadelphia.
Former Raptor Yuta Watanabe, now with the Nets, leads the NBA in 3-point shooting percentage among qualified players at 57.1 percent (24 of 42).
Watanabe (right hamstring strain) did not play Tuesday after combining for 36 points and 9-for-13 shooting from deep over the previous two games.
With Durant drawing attention and Simmons pushing the tempo, Watanabe has made the most of the clear looks that come as a result.
“Yeah, my shots are easy because of KD, Ben, those guys pushing the ball, giving me great passes,” Watanabe told The New York Post. “So I’ve got to appreciate them for giving me great passes. And my job is just to make those open shots. So, I’m going to just keep shooting with confidence. I know I can do that.”
Durant has a lot of faith in Watanabe, too.
“He’s playing great,” Durant said. “We love his energy. He’s hitting big shots for us. So you always get excited for your teammates, especially guys who come in and don’t necessarily have a guaranteed spot on the team but work their way into the rotation and put their imprint on the game from Day 1.”
–Field Level Media