The Toronto Raptors Injury Woes Continue

The Toronto Raptors have suffered several injuries throughout the entire season. There was a time when Kyle Lowry, Serge Ibaka, Patrick McCaw, and OG Anunoby were all injured and the bench had to step up.

Now Marc Gasol, Norman Powell, and Pascal Siakam are all injured indefinitely as reported by Eric Koreen of The Atletic on twitter. This is in addition to Fred VanVleet and possibly Matt Thomas who could come back next Friday against the Washington Wizards.

Injuries Pile Up for the Toronto Raptors against the Detroit Pistons

Early in the game, Marc Gasol suffered a hamstring injury against the Detroit Pistons and will miss a few weeks. This injury looked quite serious as there seemed to be no contact before he was injured.

Norman Powell is out indefinitely with a subluxation of the left shoulder. His shoulder got crushed on a Blake Griffin screen causing him to leave the game.

Lastly, Pascal Siakam is also out indefinitely with a stretched groin that he suffered midway through the fourth quarter.

This is the worst news possible for the Toronto Raptors fans, add in Fred VanVleet and Matt Thomas and they will be missing possibly five players for a crucial three-game stretch. This stretch will begin after tomorrow’s game against the Washington Wizards and Sunday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks. The Raptors will play on the road against the Indiana Pacers and a home and away series with the Boston Celtics.

Norman Powell – Toronto Raptors

This is very unfortunate for the Toronto Raptors. Norman Powell was playing like an NBA All-Star when Fred VanVleet was injured.

He was playing so well that Nick Nurse was planning to have Norman Powell remain as a starter even when Fred VanVleet comes back to the starting lineup.

Powell scored more than 20 points against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Brooklyn Nets, and Los Angeles Clippers and scored 17 points against the Chicago Bulls.

As a result of his latest success, Nick Nurse said, in a Steven Loung Sportsnet article, “Yep, it certainly will make me reconsider it” when asked if Powell’s play might make him reassess sending Powell back to a bench role when VanVleet returns to the lineup.

The Raptors will miss Norman Powell a lot, especially if Fred VanVleet continues to be injured.

Marc Gasol – Toronto Raptors

The Toronto Raptors are also going to miss the defensive prowess of Marc Gasol.

He was injured at the start of the first quarter and had to immediately head to the dressing room.

The Toronto Raptors throughout the season have been able to shut down opposing star players from scoring the basketball. This can be seen with Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers. When he played against Marc Gasol and the Toronto Raptors, he scored 10 points in Philadelphia and 0 points in Toronto. Marc Gasol played a pivotal role in that, which Josh Lewenberg of TSN gives insight on.

They will also miss Marc Gasol’s passing ability, which is a rare feat for an NBA center.

Pascal Siakam – Toronto Raptors

Lastly, Pascal Siakam, the Raptor’s best basketball player will hurt them the most. According to Eric Koreen, his injury came in the fourth quarter when he missed a slam dunk. When Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka were injured, he stepped up on many occasions and established himself as a possible NBA MVP candidate.

Siakam is averaging 25.1 points per game and 8.0 rebounds per game. This includes scoring 26 points against the Detroit Pistons, 33 against the Cleveland Cavaliers, and recording a double-double against the Brooklyn Nets with 30 points and 10 rebounds.

The good news, according to Michael Grange of Sportsnet, is Pascal Siakam’s injury is a fairly mild strain.

Missing him will be very bad news for the Toronto Raptors. Three of their next five games will be against Eastern Conference teams with similar records to the Toronto Raptors.

After the Washington Wizards and Dallas Mavericks, the Toronto Raptors will play on the road against the Indiana Pacers, host the Boston Celtics in Christmas before playing at Boston on December 28th. The Boston Celtics only have a higher seed than the Raptors because of their winning percentage. This is while the Indiana Pacers are just a half-game behind the Toronto Raptors.

However, there might not be a need for concern. The Toronto Raptors bench has stepped up whenever it is necessary. For example, the bench was excellent when Lowry and Ibaka were injured.

The Toronto Raptors Bench

During the period without Lowry and Ibaka, the Raptors defeated the Los Angeles Lakers and almost defeated the Los Angeles Clippers in LA. They also beat the Sacramento Kings and New Orleans Pelicans.

In these games, the Raptors bench stepped up. For example, in the Los Angeles Lakers game, Chris Boucher, Terence Davis, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, and Matt Thomas combined for 43 points.

Unfortunately for the Toronto Raptors, Matt Thomas was injured on November 25th.

Matt Thomas

According to Eric Smith, a radio broadcaster for the Toronto Raptors said on November 26th, Matt Thomas is likely out for four weeks. This means he could return either this week or next week for the Raptors.

His best game this season was against the Dallas Mavericks when he scored 10 points.

The Raptors would benefit from Matt Thomas’s three-point shooting. He is shooting 53.8% from the three-point line.

Fred VanVleet

There is more optimism that Fred VanVleet could return. According to Benjamin Zweiman of Draft Kings Nation, Fred VanVleet could even play against the Washington Wizards, although he is currently questionable.

Fred VanVleet is playing like an NBA All-Star this year averaging 18 points, 7 assists, and 3.8 rebounds per game. One of his best games came against the Utah Jazz, when he scored 21 points and 11 assists.

Injuries Force the Toronto Raptors to Rely on the Bench

However, even with these two possible additions, the Raptors will again be shorthanded. The Toronto Raptors’ depth will be depended on once again. The only difference is this time it is against Eastern Conference teams with similar records to the Toronto Raptors.

This stretch of the season could determine where the Toronto Raptors finish at the end of the regular season.

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