Matchup: Toronto Raptors vs. Philadelphia 76ers
Preseason records: Raptors (0-0), 76ers (0-0)
Where to watch
Date: Monday, Oct. 4
Time: 7:00 p.m.
TV: Sportsnet One
Location: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, ON
For the first time in nearly 600 days, the Raptors are set to take the floor in front of their home fans at Scotiabank Arena.
📍 @ScotiabankArena pic.twitter.com/98iVkU5yi3- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) October 4, 2021
While it's a preseason game, the anticipation to get a preview at this new-look Raptors team is sky high, and it all begins with a meeting against the 76ers, owners of the East's best record in 2020-21. With that in mind, here are a few things to keep an eye on…
Scottie Barnes era begins
Barnes, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, has said and done all of the right things since becoming a Raptor.
Now, he has the opportunity to perform under the lights.
Fans were impressed by Barnes' skill set and competitiveness on the Summer League stage and now he has an opportunity to take the floor alongside even more legitimate NBA talent in his first preseason game. In what will likely be limited action, the biggest things fans should look to take away from Barnes' performance are flashes of what he can become and his developing chemistry alongside players like OG Anunoby and Fred VanVleet.
Of course, Barnes isn't the Raptors' only rookie, as Toronto native Dalano Banton will get an opportunity to take the floor, as well as two-way players Justin Champagnie and David Johnson and undrafted free agent Ish Wainright.
It starts with Barnes, but you'll get a look at the future of the Raptors' franchise tonight.
Lineups and rotations
Per the official injury report, Toronto will be without Khem Birch, Chris Boucher and Pascal Siakam, while Gary Trent Jr. is listed as questionable. Each member of the aforementioned group started in games for the Raptors last season, which means the starting lineup for the preseason opener could be interesting in their absence.
Anunoby and VanVleet are essential locks to start things off but from there, who will VanVleet's backcourt mate be? Will it be Goran Dragic? Malachi Flynn? Svi Mykhailiuk?
Does Barnes start at forward in his first-ever preseason contest? With a number of players absent from Toronto's frontcourt rotation, the newly-acquired Precious Achiuwa could get the start at the center position, but Freddie Gillespie is another viable option.
That said, there will be a number of positional battles unfolding in real-time, as guard Isaac Bonga and forwards Sam Dekker, Reggie Perry, Yuta Watanabe and Wainright are battling to make the roster, as each player is on non-guaranteed deals. Gillespie is also on a non-guaranteed deal and has an opportunity to help his case to make the final roster.
With a versatile roster, head coach Nick Nurse can employ a number of different lineups, from four-guard looks to a lineup comprised only of players that measure at 6-foot-9. What Nurse does Monday could give an idea of what's to come this season.
Khem Birch, Health and Safety Protocols - Out
Chris Boucher, dislocated left middle finger - Out
Pascal Siakam, left shoulder rehabilitation - Out
Gary Trent Jr., left quadriceps soreness - Questionable
Charles Bassey, not with team - Out
Joel Embiid, rest - Out
Tobias Harris, right knee soreness - Out
Ben Simmons, not with team - Out
Last time they played
Date: Feb. 23, 2021
Score: 76ers 109, Raptors 102
76ers: Tobias Harris - 23 PTS (8-12 FG), 7 REB, 5 AST, 2 BLK
Raptors: Pascal Siakam - 22 PTS (9-18 FG), 7 AST, 3 STL, 1 BLK
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