Scottie Barnes is the latest to join the Raptors parade on the injured list

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Nick Nurse has given up on forming any semblance of continuity with his club.

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The injury bug frankly makes that impossible.

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The latest addition is Scottie Barnes and his sprained right knee to an injury list that already includes Pascal Siakam (in eight games so far with a strained adductor), Precious Achiuwa (outside according to Nurse after strained ligaments at ankle), Otto Porter Jr. (in a walking boot with a dislocated toe), Dalano Banton (non-COVID illness), and Justin Champagnie (lower back pain).

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Add in Gary Trent Jr. who is training after missing three games with a hip injury and a non-COVID illness you could still hear in his voice on Tuesday and the injury picture isn’t just confusing, it’s is a complete mess.

Barnes’ knee injury is the latest and a bit of a mystery, as the Raptors don’t know exactly when the injury happened.

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It was pretty clear to anyone watching Saturday’s game in Atlanta that they needed to get off the field when he fell awkwardly on Trae Young’s foot in a body tangle under the Raptors’ basket late in the game, but he’s came back and finished that game.

The nurse suggested Barnes’ injury might have even happened before the Atlanta game.

Either way, it looks like Nurse will revise his starting roster again to account for another huge absence.

« It’s hard to see anything right now, » Nurse said of his current options. “As with all guys, we just have to go night to night right now and we don’t really look at it big picture. We’re just trying to survive the next game.

« We have, again, several roster changes on Wednesday, several starters are going to change, all of that and we’re going to have to, like I said, we’ll see what happens when the ball goes up and hopefully we can developing the chemistry and getting the rotations right and figuring that out as the game goes on,” Nurse said.

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Nurse said he doesn’t believe Barnes’ knee injury is serious.

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Amid all the bad injury news that seems to be hitting the Raptors at once, Nurse suggested a return for Pascal Siakam isn’t too far off.

Siakam has participated in the last two practices and is doing well.

Nurse said the team is targeting either next Wednesday’s game in New Orleans or Friday in Brooklyn for their return.


The prospect of trying to contain Kevin Durant is enough to warrant nightmares.

At 7 feet or just beyond, Durant has the speed and maneuverability to put defenses in the flush cycle and the ability to shoot over just about any defense designed to stop him.

Thad Young knows Durant well. Both were members of the same high school draft class and All-American class.

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Young had a front row seat as Durant put up Hall of Fame numbers and admits the prospect of facing him only gets more complicated as the years go by.

« The m@#$%^f^$##@er is getting better, » Young said. “He’s a great person. A very good basketball player, a Hall of Fame type basketball player.

« It’s definitely going to be tough to keep it, but you keep it in tandem, you keep it in as a team, » Young said. “You bring him into certain crowds. Obviously he’s 6-foot-11 and 7-foot, he’s going to shoot above the crowds, but you’re trying to make it as difficult as possible.


Gary Trent Jr. hasn’t quite been himself on the basketball court for a while. He struggled with the combination of a hip problem and an illness that missed the last three games.

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The nurse is fully aware that the hip injury could have been the one he was trying to get through which would explain his lack of consistency while shooting basketball lately.

Nurse, however, is more concerned about Trent Jr.’s defensive contributions going forward. A top-five deflection player a year ago, Trent Jr. has seen his ability to disrupt with a full deflection in a game this season.

« We’re going to give him his punches and get him some points, but we want him to be a disrupter, » Nurse said, calling the slippage of deflections very disappointing.

“He kind of fits us if he does that, and if he doesn’t, he doesn’t fit us. We have to get it back. And, again, part of that is that he just hasn’t felt as good physically for a lot of games this year, so hopefully he gets to where he feels good here from Wednesday.

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Yuta Watanabe developed quite a loyal following during his time in Toronto. This sequel is only gaining momentum in Brooklyn where Watanabe currently leads the league in three-point shooting and receives nightly shouts from Durant and his other grateful teammates.

The obvious question is why hasn’t Yuta had that kind of success in recent years in Toronto? The easy answer is his lack of health.

« It made it difficult, but we worked really hard with him, and we put a lot of resources into him and he’s finally healthy, » Nurse said. “I mean, you’re starting to see it more than ever right now. Availability is a big deal, right? It’s important if you’re going to be on the pitch, it’s important if you can improve.

« He only had one or two stretches of pace, » Nurse said. « Remember we talked, oh, Yuta came back from the Olympics, and he had really good pace and he was killing it and shooting in preseason, and then like the fifth game of preseason, he goes down and he took him forever (to come back) and then he got COVID and it just took him a long time to get a rhythm.

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