Kevin Durant, James Harden, and the Kyrie Irving-less Brooklyn Net (6-3) are coming to town for a Sunday afternoon bout with the Toronto Raptors (6-4) at 3:30 p.m. ET.
What to Watch For
- Pascal Siakam is back and ready to go, albeit on a minutes restriction, for Sunday’s game. Toronto is going to take things slow with the former All-Star and don’t be surprised if his conditioning isn’t quite up to par yet, but it’ll be fascinating to see how Raptors coach Nick Nurse deploys his rotation. I’d expect Gary Trent Jr. to move back to the bench, but Nurse wouldn’t reveal his plans.
- It’ll be Durant’s first time in Toronto since Raptors fans infamously cheered as he lay on the court clenching his Achilles in Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals. He said he’s looking forward to being in Toronto, but that doesn’t mean he won’t have revenge on his mind and flex his scoring might against the Raptors.
- Harden hasn’t quite looked himself this year and a lot of that is due to the league’s rule changes limiting so-called “non-basketball moves,” basically whenever players lean in to draw a foul. His three-throw attempts per game have fallen to just 4.7 per game and he’s averaging just 17.7 points per game. He’s still lethal, but until he adapts to the new game he’s not quite as scary as he once was just a few years ago.
- Sunday should be a good litmus test for Toronto who has looked very good but not great to start the season. The Nets are one of the league’s best teams and it’ll be tough for the Raptors to keep up offensively. If they can slow Durant and Harden, no easy task, they should have a chance.
Where to Watch
Sportsnet 1 will broadcast the game on TV and TSN 1050 will call the game on the radio.
The Raptors have listed Pascal Siakam as probable, though he’s ready to go, Nurse said. Yuta Watanabe will remain sidelined.
The Nets will be without center Nic Claxton and, of course, Irving who is yet to get vaccinated.
Betting lines have yet to be announced.