Matchup: Toronto Raptors vs. Utah Jazz
Records: Raptors (17-23), Jazz (29-11)
Where to Watch
Date: Friday, March 19
Time: 8:00 p.m.
Location: Amalie Arena, Tampa, FL
Losers of six straight, the Raptors are back in action on Friday as they host the Jazz, who still own the league's top record despite losing four of their last six.
Toronto, which has been forced to play shorthanded for the better part of the last three weeks, will look more like itself on Friday as all signs indicate that OG Anunoby will be returning to action. In the Raptors' most recent outing, they welcomed Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet back into the lineup after each player missed extended time due to the league's health and safety protocols.
As expected, there was some rust as Siakam and VanVleet combined to shoot 5-for-24 from the field as Toronto fell to the Detroit Pistons for the second time this month. The highlight of the Raptors' loss was without a doubt Norman Powell, who continued his recent tear by erupting for a career-high 43 points (on 14-for-18 shooting) but it ultimately wasn't enough as Toronto fell by four points.
TAKEAWAYS: Pistons spoil Powell's career night
While rust is to be expected in Anunoby's impending return, head coach Nick Nurse remarked that the 23-year-old looked good in his first practice action in over two weeks.
OG Anunoby had some pre- and post-practice live competitive runs. "He looks good," Nick Nurse says. "He looked like he conditioned well in the time off."- Blake Murphy (@BlakeMurphyODC) March 18, 2021
Anunoby's boost on both ends of the floor will be a welcomed addition against a Jazz team that ranks in the league's top five in both offensive and defensive rating.
While Utah has been dominant throughout the 2020-21 NBA season, the team is going through a relatively rough patch and is coming off of a 131-122 loss to the Washington Wizards on Thursday. Offensively, it was a superlative night for a few members of the Jazz, as All-Star Donovan Mitchell finished with a season-high 42 points and Joe Ingles knocked down eight triples en route to setting a new career-high with 34 points.
Outside of that duo, however, the team shot 16-for-49 (32.7 percent) from the field and 6-for-26 (23.1 percent) from beyond the arc. All-Star Rudy Gobert, who finished with 10 points and 13 rebounds, indicated following the loss that the team needs to remain focused.
Gobert - "We have to realize we haven't accomplished s***. We get upset when people laugh at us on TV and disrespect us but it's on us to have respect for ourselves and understand that we're not the not the champions. We are not a team that can just cruise."- Sarah Todd (@NBASarah) March 19, 2021
Against Washington, Utah was without All-Star point guard Mike Conley, who was held out for rest purposes on the front end of a back-to-back. As the Jazz should welcome their All-Star guard back, it's worth noting that they are 6-2 following losses this season and 5-1 on the second end of back-to-backs.
The Raptors will have their work cut out for them as they look to get back on track.
Raptors vs. Jazz: Betting odds, spread, over/under
Spread: Raptors +5.0 (-110), Jazz -5.0 (-110)
Raptors Money line: +175
Jazz Money line: -200
Over/under: 230.5 (-110)
*Odds courtesy of William Hill Sports Book
The NBA has yet to release the official injury report for Friday, March 13
While more official updates are to come, the team's Thursday injury report featured no players.
Udoka Azubuike (severe sprained right ankle) - Out
Rudy Gobert (left hip contusion) - Questionable
Last Time They Played
Date: March 9, 2020
Score: Raptors 101, Jazz 92
Raptors: Pascal Siakam - 27 PTS (9-18 FG), 11 REB, 8 AST
Jazz: Joe Ingles - 20 PTS (8-12 FG), 6 AST, 5 REB
The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.