The Golden State Warriors road trip marches on, with the second of three games on the east coast. The Warriors need a win, and they’ll have to hope they’re not shorthanded as they do so.
Jordan Poole and Kevon Looney both appeared to injure their ankles during Thursday night’s loss to the Miami Heat, and while both seem to be fine, it’s unclear if they’ll play on the second half of a back-to-back. But even worse, it’s not clear if Steph Curry — who has yet to play on consecutive days since returning to the team — will be good to go.
Steph Curry said he's "gotta see how I feel when I wake up" before deciding if he can play tomorrow vs Raptors. He said Tuesday was rough after playing with that sore tailbone Monday.— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) April 2, 2021
However, the Raptors aren’t fully healthy either, as Kyle Lowry will not be playing.
Who: Golden State Warriors (23-25) vs. Toronto Raptors (18-30)
When: 4:00 p.m. PT
Where: Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida
TV: NBC Sports Bay Area
Projected starting lineups:
Warriors: Stephen Curry, Kelly Oubre Jr., Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green, James Wiseman
Raptors: Fred VanVleet, Gary Trent Jr., OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam, Aron Baynes
Warriors: Lost to the Heat 116-109 — 1-4 in their last 5 games
Raptors: Lost to the Thunder 113-103 — 1-4 in their last 5 games
Steve Kerr stressed after Thursday’s loss that there’s still plenty of time for the Warriors to figure things out and make a run, but that time is running out. The Dubs are barely hanging on to the last spot in the West’s play-in tournament.
But the schedule is handing them a poor and struggling Raptors team missing their leader. With the Warriors smell blood in the water? Or will they continue to put out mediocre performances?
Players to watch
Warrior to watch: Andrew Wiggins.
Wiggins has quietly put together a nice string of games, and is starting to slide decently into his role as a secondary scorer on the Dubs. The Raptors are a bad defensive team, but he’ll likely be defended by OG Anunoby, who is an outstanding perimeter defender. The Warriors need Wiggins to be aggressive, smart, and efficient.
Raptor to watch: Gary Trent Jr.
Trent was a deadline deal who found his way to Toronto (or Tampa, as the case may be) after starting his career with the Portland Trail Blazers. And that brought up this fun fact:
Hey Raptors twitter! It’s important you know this: Gary Trent Jr has 3 little brothers named Garyson, Grayson, and Graydon. Gary Trent Sr. really did that.— Elite Eight Legend Ashtyn Butuso (@lil_buts) March 25, 2021
Is that not reason enough to watch him?
Trent is also an extremely talented guard who will get a bigger role with the Raptors, especially with Lowry injured.
Matchup to watch: James Wiseman vs. Aron Baynes.
Wiseman is coming off of a tough game against All-Star Bam Adebayo, and now things get easier. Baynes is a much easier matchup, and Wiseman will have an opportunity to beat him down the floor and on lobs at the rim. But Baynes is also big and strong, and Wiseman has not always done well with that.
Keys to victory
- Don’t be low on energy and confidence after a deflating loss.
- 20+ points on good efficiency from Andrew Wiggins.
- Limit the inexcusable mistakes on both ends of the court.
A win is doable, Dubs. So do it.