The defending NBA champions are within the top half of the Eastern Conference standings right now, but with two of their main stars injured, things could get rough over the next several weeks.
Center Marc Gasol and power forward Pascal Siakam are out indefinitely — due to injuries. So is forward Norman Powell.
Gasol, Siakam, and Powell all hit by injuries
On Thursday night, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Raptors’ Gasol is going to miss several weeks due to his left hamstring injury.
He suffered the injury in Wednesday night’s 112-99 road victory over the Detroit Pistons. Per the NBA’s report, Gasol left the game for the locker room in the first quarter and didn’t return.
Gasol’s teammates, Pascal Siakam and Norman Powell, each suffered injuries in the fourth quarter. Powell, who is part of the team’s bench, suffered a subluxation of his left shoulder.
Siakam had a bad landing on the court after going up for a dunk attempt against the Piston’s Andre Drummond. He reportedly suffered a stretched groin due to the awkward landing.
The play in question that caused the injury to Pascal Siakam.
No FVV, no Norm, no Gasol and now no Siakam.
— Esfandiar Baraheni (@JustEsBaraheni) December 20, 2019
Siakam joins Powell and Gasol as out indefinitely at a time when the Raptors were looking quite well. Siakam, in particular, was on the rise with a shot to become an All-Star.
Toronto Raptors standing, outlook
The Toronto Raptors are the fourth-place in the Eastern Conference at 19-8. They’re just a half-game behind the Miami Heat for third place. The Boston Celtics (18-7) are currently in second place. Toronto is on a three-game winning streak as the recent injuries arrived.
All three players are tough losses for the team, especially Siakam. The 25-year-old is averaging 25.1 points per game, which is No. 14 in the NBA, but more importantly, he leads the Raptors in the category.
In addition, Siakam leads Toronto in rebounds with eight per game as well as averaging 3.6 assists, a steal, and block per game.
Powell, while a bench player, is fourth on the team in scoring at 14.4 points per game. That knocks two of the team’s top two scorers out for a bit of the schedule.
If the injuries don’t last months, then Toronto should be fine, as they can still be a strong contender in the Eastern Conference. However, without those three players, the rest of the team will need to pick up the slack.
The team was taking on the Washington Wizards on Friday night with a nine-point lead in the fourth quarter, as of this report.
Luckily, the Raptors have other talented players on the roster, including Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, Serge Ibaka, and OG Anunoby. Still, having Siakam, Gasol, and Powell back will add to this team’s ability to maintain a top-four spot in the East.