The Raptors’ injury situation seemed bad enough earlier this season but it’s nothing compared to what the defending champions are dealing with now.
Paskal Siakam, Marc Gasol and Norm Powell are all out indefinitely after getting hurt during Wednesday night’s victory in Detroit. Three-fifths of this week’s starting lineup went down with potentially serious injuries just when it seemed like the team was finally getting back to full health.
Medical updates on Gasol and Powell were expected Thursday, but word of an injury to Siakam came as a surprise. Toronto stated in a release Thursday night that its star forward had been diagnosed with a stretched groin after an “awkward landing” with 6:47 to play. Siakam remained in the game until the end of the Raptors’ 112-99 victory.
The news on the Raptors’ other two players wasn’t any better. Gasol has been diagnosed with a strained left hamstring and Powell suffered a subluxation (partial dislocation) of his left shoulder. Guard Fred VanVleet is nearing a return from a left knee injury, but it doesn’t sound like he’ll be joined by the other three any time soon.
“All three players will be re-evaluated over the coming weeks and their conditions updated as necessary,” the Raptors said the end of their injury update.
Every time it has appeared Toronto was about to get healthy this season, another player or two has gone down. First it was Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka. Then it was VanVleet. This latest setback could be the most difficult one to overcome yet as it takes away the Raptors’ leading scorer in Siakam, the recently surging Powell and Gasol, who has been a lockdown defender in the post.
Gasol hurt himself while running back on defence during Wednesday’s first quarter against the Pistons. Powell’s injury took place in the fourth quarter when he tried to fight through a screen set by forward Blake Griffin. Siakam’s injury, apparently, happened a few minutes prior to Powell’s, it just wasn’t as obvious. All three were evaluated on Toronto’s off-day.
“It’s super concerning,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse told reporters when asked about Gasol and Powell in Detroit. “It looked like (Powell) was in a lot of pain. They’ve both been playing great. It’s not unlike Kyle and Serge who were really in a groove when they went down a long time ago. Those two guys were really in a nice groove right now and it’s too bad.”
All of this comes in a week that began with Nurse talking about possible lineup changes as he prepared for the return of VanVleet from a knee injury. Powell had been making a case to hang on to a starting role by playing the best basketball of his career and Nurse seemed to be openly mulling the notion of bringing VanVleet off the bench instead.
Then there was the talk about what to do with promising forward Chris Boucher, who earned an opportunity after helping replace Ibaka earlier this year and had no clear path to playing time. That won’t be a concern now with young Canadian now set for as many minutes as he can handle with Gasol and Siakam out of the lineup.
Nurse’s easiest decision should be filling Gasol’s spot with Ibaka. Boucher becomes the top candidate to take over for Siakam and, after that, the Raptors head coach will have to get creative. The six-foot-six Rondae Hollis-Jefferson was used at centre for stretches against Detroit. Centre Dewan Hernandez is another option after he was recalled from the Raptors 905 on Thursday.
The beneficiary of Powell’s absence should be Patrick McCaw. The 24-year-old was expected to have a big role on this team, but he missed the start of the season with a knee injury and has been slowly working his way back since. McCaw has appeared in six games so far and he could replace Powell either in the starting lineup or by coming off the bench.
Raptors fans have yet to see all that much of McCaw. He appeared in 26 games last season and averaged just 13.2 minutes. Despite the young age, he has been in the league since 2016 and was a useful role player for the Warriors during their runs to NBA titles. That experience could be key.
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“I love Pat, we all love Pat,” Siakam said earlier this week. “And, obviously, he’s a three-time NBA champ, he has the experience, and he’s played with a lot of great players and against them. He can move on defence, handle the ball, shoot the three when he wants to.”
Toronto is going to need a lot of that over the next couple of weeks. One man down, next man up, is daunting enough. Three down men all at once, just doesn’t seem fair.
Boston Scott Fantasy Outlook: Is he a starter without Sanders in Week 7? – Pro Football Network
Another week and another group of notable Philadelphia Eagles are hitting the sidelines with injuries. This time, one of those is star running back Miles Sanders. With Sanders set to miss at least Thursday night’s game, it’s going to be up to Boston Scott to carry the load for his team and the fantasy football managers that are putting faith into him. Is that a smart choice to make? Can a former practice squad player behind a patchwork offensive line be a productive fantasy option, especially when some seasons are likely on the line?
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Miles Sanders set to miss Thursday’s game, leaving Boston Scott to be the focal point
Sources told ESPN’s Chris Mortensen on Monday that the Eagles are expected to be without running back Miles Sanders for Thursday’s game against the New York Giants because of a knee injury.
Sanders, along with tight end Zach Ertz, was injured during Sunday’s 30-28 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Sanders was hurt on his 74-yard run in the third quarter when he was tackled from behind by DeShon Elliott. He left the game and did not return.
Sanders’ injury is a dark cloud hanging over what was a solid day, where he rushed nine times for 118 yards. Yes, his total and 13.1 avg is inflated due to the long score, but when without that, he was still averaging 5.5 yards per carry, well above the season average.
Sanders leads the Eagles with 434 rushing yards on 71 carries with three rushing touchdowns.
Thursday night’s game against the Giants won’t be the first time this season that Sanders has missed a game and left Boston Scott to be the lead back. Sanders missed the season opener, forcing Scott to be the Eagles top RB. He tallied just 11 opportunities for 54 yards that game, though he did have to leave temporarily with an injury of his own.
Scott has totaled just 115 yards on 28 touches this year, good enough for 4.10 yards per touch. While far behind Sanders at 6.32, Scott is still well ahead of Corey Clement’s 2.46 per touch average.
The problem with Boston Scott’s fantasy value might be no fault of his own, but the patchwork offense
There really is no sugar coating this, but the Eagles have been atrocious on offense. Carson Wentz is turning the ball over almost twice per game and has already taken 25 sacks. Sanders hasn’t been effective aside from a few huge rushing plays. And Philadelphia’s receivers are dropping tons of passes. Throw in injuries to Jason Peters, Lane Johnson, and Isaac Seumalo; their struggles should come as no surprise.
Of the initial 22 players on the offensive opening day depth chart, only eight are still healthy. Seven of those injuries are to the offensive line to the starter and his backup. It’s no wonder that the Eagles rank 27th in run blocking, averaging only 3.93 adjusted line yards (ALY) per play.
Scott will struggle to generate yards on the ground without better run-blocking. The Eagles are attempting the sixth-fewest runs per game (23.5), too, so there’s not a lot of carries to go around here. The part of Scott’s game that can salvage his fantasy value is that he is a more than competent pass catcher. While he has only seen 36 targets over the past two seasons in limited work, he has caught 31 of them for 252 yards.
The Eagles, and fantasy managers as well, are hoping to see Scott bring the same value this week as he did to close out their season.
Scott closed out the 2019 season with 82 Fantasy points in the final four weeks, where he saw six-plus targets in four straight games, including one Week 14 start and then another game in Week 17—all while filling in for an injured Sanders.
Going against a Giants defense that allows the ninth most fantasy points to running backs (26.00) and gives up on average six receptions and 50.5 receiving yards per game, I think Boston Scott will be an RB2 in fantasy for Week 7.
This is a must-win game for the Eagles, who, despite a 1-4-1 record, are in second place in the NFC East. They can’t afford to lose this game, and if they can get out ahead early, they will try to limit the turnover opportunities that have plagued their team this year and keep it either on the ground or use a short passing scheme.
The Giants have allowed a staggering 78.3 PPR points through the air to running backs alone this year. That’s 13.1 points per game through the air, and there’s not a whole lot of concern on the roster to take away Scott’s targets.
There is a chance that the team gets back both DeSean Jackson and Dallas Goedert this week, but outside of them, there is no one else on this offense.
It all comes down to your team’s needs. If you have a solid starting roster, then don’t get too cute and try to force Scott into your lineup, thinking that he will have a monster day. Now, if you have players on a bye week or are struggling with injuries, I believe that Scott is worth consideration as he should see at least 15 touches in this came and be a lower-end RB2 in Week 7.
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Lowe, Wendle help Rays even World Series with win over Dodgers – TSN
Brandon Lowe went deep twice and Joey Wendle drove in three to help the Tampa Bay Rays to a 6-4 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 2 of the 2020 World Series on Wednesday. The series is tied 1-1, with Game 3 scheduled for Friday.
Here is TSN.ca’s running recap of the Rays’ Game 2 victory:
Loup is back out to pitch the ninth inning with Diego Castillo throwing in the bullpen.
After a strikeout and a long fly ball out, Castillo is on to try to close out Game 2.
Castillo gets Chris Taylor on strikes to slam the door and even the World Series at 1-1.
Jake McGee is on to pitch the ninth for the Dodgers.
Yandy Diaz reaches with a one-out walk.
Randy Arozarena also reaches with a walk, but after both men are lifted for pinch runners the Dodgers get out of the inning.
Corey Seager leads off the inning with a solo homer to slice the Rays’ lead to 6-4.
Justin Turner doubles to centre as the ball falls between two defenders in the outfield.
Aaron Loup enters the game for the Rays with two outs.
Turner is stranded at second, Rays lead 6-4 heading to the ninth inning.
Willy Adames doubles with two outs, but is stranded to end the inning.
Pete Fairbanks comes out of the bullpen and throws a three-up, three-down inning using only six pitches.
Alex Wood takes over on the mound for the Dodgers.
Yandy Diaz hits a ball off the wall, but is held to a long single with one out.
Diaz advanced to second on a fielder’s choice and Randy Arozarena is given an intentional walk.
Wood strands both runners, Rays continue to lead 6-3.
Will Smith hits a one-out homer off Nick Anderson to cut the Rays lead to 6-3.
Ji-Man Choi reaches with a single to lead off the inning.
Manuel Margot singles to left, Choi advances to third with none out.
Joey Wendle drives in Choi with a sac fly, Rays lead 6-2.
A. J. Pollock reaches on a walk, the third issued by Snell tonight.
Chris Taylor hits a two-run homer, first hit Snell has allowed, Rays lead is cut to 5-2.
Mookie Betts draws a walk and Nick Anderson is heating in the bullpen for the Rays.
Corey Seager singles and Anderson is on to replace Snell with two on and two out.
Both runners are stranded, 5-2 Rays after five innings.
Austin Meadows reaches for the Rays with a two-out single.
Brandon Lowe hits his second homer of the game, a two-run shot to put the Rays ahead 5-0.
Snell has eight strikeouts and has not allowed a hit through four innings.
Julio Urias and Dustin May are throwing in the Dodgers bullpen as Victor Gonzalez continues on the mound.
Randy Arozarena reaches with a one-out walk and is erased on a fielder’s choice after Kiké Hernández bobbles a double play ball, Ji-Man Choi is safe at first.
May enters the game to pitch for the Dodgers, their fourth pitcher of the game.
Margot slaps a single into right field, Choi advances to second.
Joey Wendle doubles into the gap, driving home both runners to extend the Rays’ lead to 3-0.
Snell responds with a three-up, three-down third inning as the Rays continue to lead.
Floro records the first two outs of the third and Victor Gonzalez replaces him to record the third out and keep the score at 1-0 Rays.
Max Muncy walks to lead off the second inning for the Dodgers.
Cody Bellinger also reaches on a walk, Muncy moves up to second with one out.
Both runners are stranded as the score remains 1-0 for the Rays.
Tony Gonsolin remains on the mound, with Dylan Floro heating in the bullpen for the Dodgers.
Manuel Margot draws a walk, steals second base and advances to third on a deep fly ball to centre field.
With one out in the second inning, Floro replaces Gonsolin on the mound for the Dodgers.
Margot is erased at the plate on a ground ball to Corey Seager, Willy Adames reaches on a fielder’s choice.
Adames is thrown out trying to steal second to end the inning.
Blake Snell takes the mound for the Rays with a 1-0 lead.
Corey Seager hits one to the warning track, but Globe Life Field holds it, keeping the Dodgers off the board.
Tony Gonsolin is on the mound and Game 2 of the 2020 World Series is underway from Globe Life Field in Arlington.
Brandon Lowe hits a solo homer in the first inning to put the Rays on top 1-0.
Southpaw Blake Snell (2-2, 3.20 ERA) will take the ball for the Tampa Bay Rays as they look to even the 2020 World Series after a Game 1 defeat.
Tampa Bay Rays starting lineup
Tony Gonsolin (0-1, 9.95 ERA) will start for the Los Angeles Dodgers. They are the home team for Game 2 of the Fall Classic from Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.
Los Angeles Dodgers starting lineup
Report: Louisville a possibility for Raptors home games in 2021 – Sportsnet.ca
Discussions have been had about the possibility of Louisville serving as a temporary home for the Toronto Raptors during the upcoming NBA season, according to Yahoo’s Vincent Goodwill.
Per Goodwill, the potential stems from former NBA player and now-businessman Junior Bridgeman having contacted the NBA to bring attention to the fact that Louisville’s KFC Yum! Center is NBA-ready.
Canada and the United States agreed to close the border for non-essential travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic back in March, and on Monday that agreement was extended until at least Nov. 21. Due to the restrictions, Toronto-based teams such as the Blue Jays and Toronto FC have had to play their home games out-of-country, in Buffalo and East Hartford, Connecticut, respectively.
If those same restrictions continue to be implemented into the forthcoming NBA season, the Raptors, too, may be forced to play somewhere other than Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena.
The league has yet to make any official decisions about the 2020-21 campaign, and is still in the process of figuring out the salary cap, the opening date for free agency and a myriad of other topics.
Commissioner Adam Silver has reiterated several times over the past few months that the league’s decisions will be necessarily be determined by the novel coronavirus.
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