Monday's game between the Portland Trail Blazers (5-4) and Toronto Raptors (2-7) is the first of two meetings between the two teams this season. The second matchup will take place in the second half of the season.
The Raptors will face the Blazers in the second night of a back-to-back after losing to the Golden State Warriors by one point Sunday. It will also be Toronto’s third game in four nights with Portland being the last stop of a four-game trip. The Raptors have gone 1-2 on the trip with their only win coming in Sacramento, a 144-123 victory over the Kings.
Portland is looking to build off its 125-99 drubbing of the Kings on Saturday night behind CJ McCollum’s 37 points.
Monday, the Raptors will be without Patrick McCaw (left knee; surgery; rehabilitation), while the Blazers have listed Zach Collins (left ankle stress fracture) as out.
Our Trail Blazers Insider, Dwight Jaynes poses the question of -- isn't it time to at least talk about NBA teams being vaccinated? Dwight writes:
The NBA is having to postpone more games each day because of COVID-19 concerns and nobody is quite sure how to handle that. Suggestions include hitting the “pause” button on the season, bubbling up again, just walking away and cancelling the whole thing and, of course, doing nothing and fighting through a season the way MLB and NFL did.
I’d like to propose another solution, one that I’m sure will lead to many objections.
It’s time to at least open a conversation about vaccinating the league’s players, coaches and support personnel. And not just the NBA (which would be easiest because of comparatively small rosters), but all sports teams.
Yes, I know Commissioner Adam Silver has been adamant about teams not “jumping the line” for the vaccine. He wants to make sure the people who need the vaccine the most get it in their proper turn.
I understand that. It’s admirable. But figuring the appropriate order is certainly a matter of opinion. And at some point I would point out that the NBA is an industry that benefits this country on more than one level.
First and most important, it generates hundreds of millions of dollars, not just for its players and owners, but for the economy in general. There are many associated businesses that feed off the NBA’s presence.
In addition, these teams -- particularly in markets such as Portland -- provide a source of community unity, pride and distraction from the day’s gloomy events. People in Oregon are invested in the Trail Blazers.
Read more here.
The Blazers are -5 point favorites against the Raptors, odds provided by our partner PointsBet.
Here’s what you need to know about the Portland and Toronto matchup --
- LAST SEASON: The Trail Blazers split the season series against the Raptors 1-1 in 2019-20. Portland and Toronto have split the series each of the past two seasons.
- Carmelo Anthony scored 28 points (10-17 FG, 5-8 3-PT, 3-3 FT), including a game-winning shot, and pulled down seven rebounds against the Raptors on Jan. 7, 2020, his lone game against Toronto last season. It was his second-highest scoring output of 2019-20.
- In two games against Toronto last season, Damian Lillard averaged 14.5 points, 2.5 rebounds, 9.5 assists and 2.0 blocks.
- Pascal Siakam put up 36 points, six rebounds and three assists against Portland on Nov.13, 2019.
POINT SPREAD: -- Trail Blazers: -5 (-110) -- Raptors: +5 (-110)
HOW TO WATCH:
When: Monday, January 11
Where: Moda Center | Portland, OR
Start time: 7:00 p.m. PT
TV channel: NBCSNW, the official network of the Portland Trail Blazers
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