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Houston Rockets vs. Toronto Raptors game preview

The Rockets head into Toronto looking to snap a 2-game skid

NBA: Toronto Raptors at Houston Rockets Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight, the Houston Rockets take on a Toronto Raptors squad that they just beat a week ago in a blowout. And yet somehow, the Rockets are underdogs.

Part of that is the return of RJ Barrett, who missed the first matchup. Part of that is also Fred VanVleet, who will miss tonight’s contest. Maybe part of it is the announcement that Scottie Barnes has made the All-Star Game. He’s the best player in the game if we take ASG appearances into account, right? Still, to go from a 29-point win to a 2.5-point underdog in a week against the same opponent is wild.

The Rockets had an expectedly quiet trade deadline. Outside of a backup center, most reasonable fans weren’t expecting much. The Raptors, meanwhile, traded for Kelly Olynyk and Ochai Agbaji. They also traded Dennis Schroder and Thaddeus Young for Spencer Dinwiddie, though they have no interest in Dinwiddie and will waive him. That’s good news for the Rockets, since all three of Schroder, Young, and Dinwiddie have had huge games against the Rockets in the past.

The Rockets will turn around after this game and complete a back-to-back in Atlanta. Interestingly enough, the flight from Toronto to Atlanta is only 2.5 hours. I would have bet a lot of money it would be longer, but that gives Houston a decent chance to be ready for Saturday night’s game.

Tip-off

6:30pm CT

How to Watch

Space City Home Network

Injury Report

Rockets

Fred VanVleet-OUT (adductor)

Tari Eason-OUT (leg)

Raptors

Kelly Olynyk-GTD (just arrived via trade)

Ochai Agbaji-GTD (just arrived via trade)

The Line (as of this post)

TOR -2.5

Looking ahead because we can

Tomorrow night in Atlanta