UPDATE: March 17, 6:24 p.m. — VanVleet, Siakam, Flynn and McCaw are all available to play in Wednesday’s game vs. the Pistons.
UPDATE: March 17, 12:31 p.m. — VanVleet has been upgraded to questionable Wednesday vs. the Pistons. So Siakam and FVV will have a chance to return. This makes the lines a bit interesting, since the Raptors are only -3.5 on the road against Detroit. The Raptors desperately need a win and this isn’t injury related for both players, they were in health protocols. You can get an edge on that number and it’ll only go up to 5.5 or 6.5 points if Siakam and FVV are ruled in.
The Toronto Raptors had four players cleared to practice on Tuesday ahead of Wednesday’s game vs. the Detroit Pistons. The Raps have had five players in health and safety protocols: Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, Malachi Flynn and Patrick McCaw. Siakam, Flynn and McCaw are listed as questionable vs. the Pistons. FVV is doubtful and OG has already been ruled out. Anunoby was the only player to not be cleared to return to practice yet.
The Raptors have been without these players since the end of February. Toronto desperately needs these players back. Since two games were postponed before the All-Star Break, the Raptors have lost five straight and are outside the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference. This was a team with championship aspirations heading into 2020-21. VanVleet and Siakam lead the team in scoring. OG has been a glue guy in the starting lineup. Both sides of the ball have suffered due to Covid-19 protocols.
If the Raptors can get back Siakam, that will be a nice boost in a game the team should win. Siakam’s return would likely send Stanley Johnson back to the bench and means fewer minutes for recently signed journeyman forward Henry Ellenson. Siakam is a HUGE upgrade in the front court. Hopefully he isn’t impacted at all by conditioning returning from Covid-19 protocols.