July 25, 2024

GOOD NEW: Guess who’s back in for Toronto Raptors

Road Sweet Road | NBA.com

Jakob Poeltl is finally back. It’s been almost a month since the Toronto Raptors lost their starting center to a left ankle sprain when he accidentally stepped on Pascal Siakam’s foot on January 7. Since then, it’s been a rough few weeks for Toronto nine of their last 11 games. But Poeltl has been upgraded from questionable and will return alongside Immanuel Quickley who has also been cleared to play, Raptors coach Darko Rajaković told reporters in Houston.

Quickley had missed three straight games with a right thigh contusion but he practiced on Thursday and is good to go against the Rockets. Only RJ Barrett remains out from the starting lineup as he continues to deal with left knee swelling. It’ll be his third straight game missed. The return of Poeltl should give Toronto some much-needed defensive strength in the paint where the Raptors have struggled mightily in his absence. Toronto had been one of the league’s worst rebounding teams without Poeltl and the defense had fallen off significantly over the past 11 games.

Expect Thad Young to continue to see backup big minutes for Toronto with Jontay Porter sidelined. Porter is battling back spasms and has been ruled out.

Jakob Poeltl keeps calm through numerous changes in Toronto - Eurohoops

Quickley’s return will move Barnes back to his traditional forward spot after he’d been given the reigns as Toronto’s lead point guard while Quickley was out. Alperen Sengun will play for the Rockets. The third-year center had been listed as questionable with an illness but he’s been cleared to go.

 

 

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