UPDATE: March 8, 7:36 p.m. — Marc Gasol returns to the lineup from his hamstring injury vs. the Kings on Sunday. Fred VanVleet remains sidelined. Gasol will be on a minutes restriction.
UPDATE: March 6, 10:16 a.m. — The Raptors clinched a playoff berth with their win over the Warriors on Thursday night. The Dubs didn’t make it easy though. With Stephen Curry back in the lineup, the game came down to the final minute. Pascal Siakam iced things up late and Toronto secured a spot in the postseason for the seventh straight year.
Ibaka was effective in his return, scoring 13 points with 13 rebounds in 30 minutes. The Raptors ran a tight rotation with the five starters getting the bulk of the playing time. This should change once FVV and Gasol get back in the lineup, plus the Raptors don’t have as much motivation having secured a playoff spot. Sure, they need to fend off the Celtics for the No. 2 seed, but home court is all that matters.
UPDATE: March 5, 9:07 p.m. — So as expected, Ibaka is back and FVV and Gasol have been ruled out. Ibaka’s return is huge for the defense and front court. I think the Raptors at -8.5 on DKSB is a decent bet, though Steph Curry is back for the Dubs. Still, with Draymond Green out, I can’t see the Dubs hanging with the Raptors for the entire game. It’s a wide spread on the road, but the Raptors are one win away from clinching a playoff berth. The DFS plays are listed below.
UPDATE: March 5, 8:38 p.m. — The Raptors updated us on the status of three players. Ibaka has been upgraded to probable, so it looks like he’ll get back into the starting lineup at center. Both VanVleet and Gasol have been downgraded to doubtful, so it’s not looking good for them playing.
Ibaka returning would be a slight downgrade to Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Chris Boucher and OG Anunoby. FVV remaining out is good for Norman Powell and Terence Davis. With Gasol still sidelined, there are front court minutes for RHJ and Boucher, so both are OK values in a good matchup against the Warriors, who don’t have much size.
UPDATE: March 4, 8:33 p.m. — It looks like the Raptors could be getting guys back. Fred VanVleet ($6,500), Serge Ibaka ($6,000) and Marc Gasol ($4,400) are all questionable for what figures to be a fun game against the Golden State Warriors. Steph Curry ($8,000) has been cleared to return for the Dubs after missing most of the season with a wrist injury.
If VanVleet plays, Norman Powell ($6,600) would lose the most playing time. He’s been starting at shooting guard in FVV’s absence, a role he averages 29.93 DKFP in. Coming off the bench, Powell averages just 23.73 DKFP.
In the frontcourt, Rondae Hollis Jefferson ($4,000) and Chris Boucher ($4,300) stand to losing playing time if Ibaka and/or Gasol are active on Thursday.
The Raptors are listing Fred VanVleet, Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol as questionable for tomorrow vs Golden State. That Gasol has been upgraded from 'out' to 'questionable' is an encouraging sign and should indicate he's close.— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) March 5, 2020
UPDATE: TOR-PHX RECAP — The Raptors didn’t have Serge Ibaka or Fred VanVleet again, but that didn’t stop them from ending a three-game losing streak. Toronto shook off the Suns to pick up a 123-114 victory on Tuesday night in Phoenix.
The Raptors got solid contributions from Pascal Siakam ($8,700), Kyle Lowry ($8,100) and Chris Boucher ($3,200), who was a massive value play. Siakam and Lowry both were solid tournament plays as well. Siakam finished with 52.25 DKFP on 33 points and seven boards. Lowry left due to an eye injury in the first half, but was able to return, ending with 45.75 DKFP on 28 points. Boucher posted a nasty 19 points and 15 rebounds in just 29 minutes for 45.75 DKFP, big time value.
— Ibaka and VanVleet have both been ruled out vs. the Suns.
This is a bit surprising. I figured we’d maybe see Ibaka and FVV get back into the lineup and that the Raptors would be in good position for a road win. I still think Toronto is, but things are a little less clear. The line is up to Raptors -5, which I still think is a favorable spot. Toronto has lost three straight and needs a win. The Raps have the depth to get past a below-average team like Phoenix on the road.
As for DFS plays, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson ($4,600) should get another start and is a good value option. Terence Davis ($4,000) also in the value pool for tonight’s slate. I don’t like the price on OG Anunoby ($6,500), that seems pretty high despite the amount of minutes he’s played the past two games. His range of outcomes is too wide for anything but GPPs. Pascal Siakam ($8,700) and Kyle Lowry ($8,100) are both OK tournament options, both should go relatively overlooked for the eight-game slate.
Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ/WV/PA) or 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN) or 1-800-522-4700 (NH). NH/NJ/WV/IN/PA only. 21+ (18+ NH). Eligibility Restrictions Apply. See website for details.