The Toronto Raptors return from the All-Star break on Thursday night to host the Atlanta Hawks at Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay.
Due to health and safety protocols, the Raptors will be without five players as they look to start the second half of the season on a positive note.
Three of the players that will be out of the lineup are starters in Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby. Adding Malachi Flynn and Patrick McCaw to the list of inactives will test the remainder of the team.
The Raptors may also be without guard Terence Davis, who is questionable with a left ankle sprain.
Toronto announced the signing of forward-centre Henry Ellenson, presumably as reinforcement for a group short on bodies.
The Marquette alum dazzled with the Raptors 905 in the G-League bubble. He averaged 21.2 points and 8.2 boards on 49.3 percent shooting from the field.
Toronto Raptors: As Trae Young goes, so do the Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta comes into the contest with a 16-20 record, good for 11th in the crowded Eastern Conference. The team won two straight games before the break, after firing head coach Lloyd Pierce, and replacing him with seasoned bench boss Nate McMillan.
Young leads the Hawks in scoring with 26.4 points per game on 43 percent shooting, including 37.8% on threes, per Basketball-Reference.
The 22-year-old is also chipping in 9.4 assists per game, while getting to the line nearly ten times each night.
Atlanta will also be without some key contributors, with Cam Reddish, De’Andre Hunter and Kris Dunn already ruled out.
In the only previous matchup this season, Atlanta topped Toronto by a score of 132-121 on February 6th. Young was the high scorer with 28 points in the contest.
How do you think the Raptors will do without several key players Thursday? What do they need to do to neutralize Trae Young? Let us know in the comments below.