Toronto Raptors star point guard Kyle Lowry is listed as questionable for tonight’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Lowry exited Monday night’s 128-92 win against the Knicks with right ankle soreness after getting tangled up with Mitchell Robinson in the third quarter.
The 32-year-old point guard had 15 points, eight assists and six rebounds in 26 minutes and he’s averaging 14.8 points, 9.0 assists and 4.8 rebounds in 34.6 minutes over 57 games this season.
Raptors Roster & Starting Lineup vs. Knicks
*Notates expected starter
C: Serge Ibaka*, Marc Gasol, Chris Boucher
PF: Pascal Siakam*, Eric Moreland
SF: Kawhi Leonard*, Patrick McCaw, Norman Powell
SG: Danny Green*, OG Anunoby
PG: Fred VanVleet*, Jeremy Lin
If Lowry can’t play, Fred VanVleet or Jeremy Lin will likely take his place in the starting lineup. VanVleet had 13 points and 12 assists in 28 minutes against the Knicks while Lin also played well, scoring 20 points off the bench in 27 minutes.
Both players can help replace Lowry’s production but can they contain Russell Westbrook? The Thunder star point guard has been unstoppable as of late, averaging 25.3 points, 9.8 rebounds and 7.6 assists in 35.9 minutes over his last 10 games.
Westbrook needs to bounce back after having a poor game in Saturday’s 110-88 home loss against the Warriors when he scored just seven points on 2-for-16 shooting and 0-for-7 from 3-point range.
Kawhi Leonard and Pascal Siakam will carry the load for the Raptors but Siakam, in particular, has to have a big game, if Lowry is out he will be their secondary scorer and he has to prove why he’s among the favorites to win the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award.
Siakam had 19 points, eight rebounds and five assists in 30 minutes against the Knicks and now he’s averaging 18.0 points, 6.1 rebounds and 4.0 assists in 33.5 minutes over his last 10 games.
The Raptors will also get a boost from Serge Ibaka’s return from suspension. Ibaka missed the last three games and the Raptors went 2-1 without him. Marc Gasol started in those contests and averaged 12.0 points (on 48.0 percent shooting from the field), 9.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 28.3 minutes but his playing time will likely drop off with Ibaka back.
This is a very important contest for the Raptors, they’re just three games behind the Bucks for first place in the Eastern Conference but they will go up against a reeling Thunder team that has lost three straight to fall to sixth place in the Western Conference, just a half-game over the Jazz and Clippers, so they clearly can’t afford to keep dropping games, especially at home.