Gameday: Raptors @ Spurs, November 2 – Raptors Republic

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Like many people, the first thing that caught my eye when looking at the Raptors’ schedule was the first seven games in October. All against Eastern Conference opponents who at least made it to the qualifying tournament in April. Now in the rearview mirror, 4-3 is a passing score for most fans.

What was not expected was Toronto visiting a San Antonio team 5-2 as a result of that perceived gauntlet.

This is the first leg of a two-legged game in Texas that will see the Raptors play Dallas on Friday before returning to Toronto.

Raptors reach (4-3 | Offensive rating – 12th | Defensive rating – 10th)

We probably won’t know Fred VanVleet’s status until the game starts. If he doesn’t play, Scottie Barnes can be asked to run the point again. Barnes thrived with more offensive responsibility against the Hawks, hitting season-highs of 21 points (which included a career-high five threes) and eight assists. Scottie also played a key role in the Raptors’ defensive plan against Trae Young.

Pascal Siakam’s playmaking role would also increase. He’s already the Raptors’ do-it-all guy, with a franchise record (and current NBA-best stretch) of at least 20 points, five rebounds and five assists in six straight games. The MVP’s amusing whispers echoed among some media and he received some of those fan chants on Monday. Siakam is posting career-high averages of 26.1 ppg, 9.6 rpg, and 7.4 apg across seven contests.

Also, remember the 24% three-point shot that raised a few eyebrows in preseason? The Raptors sit eighth with a very respectable 38.1 rating. Is it sustainable with guys like Scottie and Chris Boucher making over half of their attempts? Maybe not. But Precious Achiuwa has yet to find the 22% mark, so there is still room to grow.

Spurs range (5-2 | Offensive rating – 11th | Defensive rating – 22nd)

San Antonio and Utah have confused many so far. They were supposed to be the first to fight for Victor Wembanyama. Instead, Gregg Popovich’s team has already had solid wins against the 76ers, Bulls and Timberwolves twice.

One thing that stands out is that Spurs embrace three-point shooting. It’s something Pop has historically bristled against, as Spurs have gone into the bottom six in attempts over the past seven years. A few of those seasons have seen San Antonio rank dead last. These new-look Spurs are hoisting over 36 threes per game, eighth in the league and sixth in percentage (39.4).

Another observation, the rise of Keldon Johnson. It’s also questionable on the injury report, but Johnson excelled in his fourth season after Dejounte Murray was traded. Keldon was the first-round pick the Raptors traded as part of the deal to Kawhi Leonard (29th overall) averaging nearly 24 points, five boards and four assists with a 60 true shooting percentage ,3. He leads the Spurs three-point attack, making almost four per game at a 43.5% clip. Johnson was on the U.S. Olympic team in 2021 and could be in the conversation for most improved player.

Update: Johnson has now been kicked out of this game

I also can’t forget Pascal’s old pal, Jakob Poeltl. He is said to be on the trading block but is averaging a double double (14 pts, 11 reb) this season.

Game Information

Tip-Off: 8 p.m. EDT | TV: TSN 4/5 | Radio: TSN Radio 1050

Range of raptors

Both Otto Porter (personal reasons) and Fred VanVleet (lower back stiffness) are questionable. Otto did not make his debut for the Raptors and Fred missed his first game of the season on Monday.

Update: Porter has been upgraded to probable. Good luck he makes his debut with the Raptors!

*probable composition if Fred remains absent, will update later*

PG: Scottie Barnes, Dalano Banton, Malachi Flynn, Jeff Dowtin Jr.

SG: Gary Trent Jr, Ron Harper Jr.

SF: OG Anunoby, Otto Porter Jr, Thaddeus Young, Justin Champagnie

PF: Pascal Siakam, Chris Boucher, Juancho Hernangomez

C: Christian Koloko, Precious Achiuwa, Khem Birch

Spurs lineup

OUT: Devin Vassell (left knee pain), Keldon Johnson (right calf tightness) Isaiah Roby (flu-like symptoms) and Blake Wesley (MCL sprain)

QUESTIONABLE: Jeremy Sochan (flu-like symptoms)

PG: Tre Jones

SG: Josh Richardson, Romeo Langford, Malaki Branham

SF: Doug McDermott

PF: Keita Bates-Diop, Zach Collins

C: Jakob Poeltl, Gorgui Dieng


The Raptors are favored by 6.5 points. Over/Under is 224.

#Gameday #Raptors #Spurs #November #Raptors #Republic

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