Matchup: Toronto Raptors vs. Phoenix Suns
Where to Watch
Date: Tuesday, July 28
Time: 3:00 p.m. ET
TV: TSN (Canada), NBA TV (United States)
Location: The Arena (Disney's Wide World of Sports), Orlando, FL
Who plays, who sits?
The question applies to both teams. As it's the final tune-up prior to the season's official restart with seeding games, we could very well see some players held our or in limited minutes.
Prior to the scrimmages, Raptors head coach Nick Nurse said that he probably wouldn't use the full rotation in any of the three games. Sunday's win over the Portland Trail Blazers is likely the closest we'll see to the full rotation during this scrimmage period and even then, Marc Gasol played in under 10 minutes while Fred VanVleet was limited to five due to his knee…more on that later.
Toronto has three days to rest in preparation for the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday, but the Raps seemed to be back in rhythm in their first two, meaning they can afford to prioritize rest in the final scrimmage. Could that mean we get an extended look at Oshae Brissett, Dewan Hernandez, Malcolm Miller and Paul Watson?
For Phoenix, a team that will need to hit the ground running as soon as its seeding schedule begins on Friday, coach Monty Williams could either look to keep key players fresh with rest or place an emphasis on rhythm to build momentum ahead of a winnable opener against the Washington Wizards.
How is Fred VanVleet's knee?
As mentioned above, VanVleet banged his knee early against the Trail Blazers, sidelining him after five minutes of play.
Following Scrimmage No. 2, Nurse said that the injury didn't seem too bad, but wasn't worth returning to the scrimmage in which it happened. Is it worth suiting back up two days later?
Nick Nurse says he doesn't think Fred VanVleet's knee-knock was too bad but no sense trying to play through it in a scrimmage.- Blake Murphy (@BlakeMurphyODC) July 27, 2020
Should VanVleet sit this one out, it shouldn't be a reason to hit the panic button at all. The way in which the injury bug has bitten Toronto throughout the season, the cautious approach is more than understandable.
More updates on his status will come as they're made available.
Are there minutes up for grabs?
While the top seven in the Raptors rotation is pretty much set in stone, how much we'll see Chris Boucher, Terence Davis and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson will likely vary night-to-night.
The above three have each cemented themselves into set roles to a certain extent, but with the starters seeing limited - or no - time in this one, they'll have an opportunity to make a good impression on the staff to gain more trust ahead of the final games.
Matt Thomas, who is right outside of that 10-man group, showcased his shooting stroke on Sunday and if he were to replicate that performance or turn in something similar, Nurse will be faced with some tough decisions rotation-wise ahead of Saturday's opener against L.A., which is a good problem for any coach to have.
The evaluation period never stops and for the players who will likely see extended time Tuesday, they'll have an opportunity to prove something for the future - immediate, or distant.
Injury report will be made available closer to tip
- Phoenix leads the league with 27.2 assists per game. Toronto's 25.4 assists per contest are good for 11th in the league.
- Suns guard Ricky Rubio is second in the NBA with 8.9 assists per game. Kyle Lowry comes in at seventh with 7.7 assists per game.
- The Raptors (104.9) boast the league's second-best defensive rating while the Suns (111.3) come in at 19th.
- Suns guard Cameron Payne spent time with the Raptors during the preseason of the 2019-20 season.
- According to FiveThirtyEight's NBA predictions, the Suns (26-39) have a <1% chance to qualify for the postseason. They would need to overtake four teams in the standings while making up three games to force a play-in.
Last Time They Played
Date: March 3, 2020
Score: Toronto Raptors 123, Phoenix Suns 114
Raptors: Pascal Siakam - 33 PTS (12-20 FG), 7 REB, 3 AST, 2 BLK
Suns: Devin Booker - 22 PTS, 10 AST, 4 REB
|1||x - Milwaukee Bucks||53-12||-||1||x -Los Angeles Lakers||49-14||-|
|2||x - Toronto Raptors||46-18||6.5||2||x - LA Clippers||44-20||5.5|
|3||x - Boston Celtics||43-21||9.5||3||x -Denver Nuggets||43-22||7|
|4||x - Miami Heat||41-24||12||4||x - Utah Jazz||41-23||8.5|
|5||x - Indiana Pacers||39-26||14||5||x - Oklahoma City Thunder||40-24||9.5|
|6||x - Philadelphia 76ers||39-26||14||6||x - Houston Rockets||40-24||9.5|
|7||Brooklyn Nets||30-34||22.5||7||Dallas Mavericks||40-27||11|
|8||Orlando Magic||30-35||23||8||Memphis Grizzlies||32-33||18|
|9||Washington Wizards||24-40||28.5||9||Portland Trail Blazers||29-37||21.5|
|10||New Orleans Pelicans||28-36||21.5|
|12||San Antonio Spurs||27-38||22|
x - Clinched Playoffs Berth
The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.