Preview: San Antonio Spurs at Toronto Raptors – Game #53

The San Antonio Spurs (26-26) have bounced back from a five-game losing streak by winning their last two games. First, the Spurs defeated the Dallas Mavericks. Then, San Antonio followed that up by smashing the Orlando Magic. Tonight, the Silver and Black take on the Toronto Raptors in the final contest of their five-game road trip.

Last season, the Raptors were the second seed in the Eastern Conference with a 53-19 record. This season, though, has been a completely different story for Toronto. They are 21-34 and appear to be actively tanking games.

Prior to the season, on paper this looked like it’d be a difficult game for the Spurs. However, given the circumstances, this is a game that San Antonio can definitely win.

Toronto Raptors Injury Update

Kyle Lowry is sitting out tonight’s game to rest. This is the second straight game he is resting, which makes it obvious that the Raptors are no longer too serious about trying to make the playoffs this season.

Fred VanVleet also won’t play. He has missed time recently with a hip injury but is technically missing tonight’s game due to a suspension. The NBA suspended VanVleet for leaving the bench during an altercation.

Gary Trent Jr, who the Raptors acquired at the trade deadline, is also out for tonight’s game with an ankle injury. Since joining Toronto, Trent is averaging 17.4 points in 33.6 minutes per game.

DeAndre’ Bembry, who is averaging 18.2 minutes per game off the bench this season, is out with a hamstring injury.

Add to all the injuries the fact that the Raptors have been forced to play all of their home games in Tampa, Florida, this season due to the pandemic and it becomes clear why they’re just 4-17 in their last 21 games.

San Antonio Spurs Injury Update

By comparison, the Spurs don’t have much to complain about. Gorgui Dieng remains out. Since signing with the Spurs, he has only been able to play 24 minutes due to a shoulder injury he sustained in his San Antonio debut. With Dieng out, Drew Eubanks will continue to be the team’s backup center.

Trey Lyles will miss another game with an ankle injury. He hasn’t played at all since March 24th. Since March 14th, he has only played one game while missing 16 games.

Spurs at Raptors – How the Spurs Can Win

This game won’t be as easy as the Magic game, as the Raptors still have quality players available including Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby. That said, this is the type of game the Spurs need to win. They have a difficult schedule the rest of the way and if they don’t take advantage of short-handed teams that appear to be tanking, their hopes of making the playoffs could be dashed sooner than later.