The Toronto Raptors’ new-look starting lineup suddenly doesn’t look so new anymore.
The Raptors have lost point guard Kyle Lowry and forward Landry Fields to injury — both off-season acquisitions.
Both were to be held out of Saturday’s home game versus the Philadelphia 76ers.
Lowry left Tuesday’s loss to Oklahoma City with a sprained right ankle and also missed Wednesday’s game in Dallas. Fields is experiencing tenderness in his right wrist.
“I feel OK, not 100 per cent. But it’s getting better,” Lowry said after Saturday morning’s shootaround. “I’m not going to rush back, I’m going to make sure my ankle is feeling really good. Right now it’s not where I want it to be, it may take a few more days to get there, but we’re taking precautions, treatment, to make sure it’s getting better.”
Lowry has been Toronto’s most consistent player, averaging more than 23 points and seven assists a game. He ranks fourth in the league in efficiency — behind only LeBron James, Anderson Varejao, and Kevin Durant.
Just before halftime in Oklahoma City however, he fell to the floor in pain after stepping on the foot of the Thunder’s Serge Ibaka. Lowry writhed in pain for several minutes before being helped to the locker-room.
“I was awful hurt. It did hurt,” Lowry said. “I stepped on Serge’s foot, it turned the wrong way, it’s an ankle that’s been bothering me since the summertime, and that’s why it hurt a little bit more.”
Fields, meanwhile, saw a specialist this week, and will see another next week.
Raptors coach Dwane Casey believes Fields’ sore wrist has impacted his shot — he’s averaging just 2.4 points per game on 21 per cent shooting.
“If it’s golf, or baseball, or whatever it is, if you have sensitivity in your wrist, in that area, it’s going to affect you,” Casey said. “I feel for him, he cares, he’s hurt that he can’t be available for us. He’s a super young man, he wants us to win, he’s worked as hard as anyone throughout the summer, so this is a setback for him personally and for us as a team.”
The Raptors began the season with three new starters in Lowry, Fields and rookie centre Jonas Valanciunas.
Veteran guard Jose Calderon was slotted into the starting lineup for Lowry, while Alan Anderson replaced Fields.
Toronto (1-4) has dropped two straight, while Philadelphia (3-2) has won two in a row, including a 106-100 win over Boston on Friday night.