Raptors Injury Update: Will RJ Barrett Play Tonight Against His Former Home Knicks Tonight?

Published 01/20/2024, 2:02 PM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

The Toronto Raptors are set to make a visit to the iconic Madison Square Garden to take on the New York Knicks. The anticipation is high, especially after a significant trade between the two teams just before the looming trade deadline. In this trade, OG Anunoby found himself in the vibrant streets of New York, while RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley headed north to join the Raptors.

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Both Quickley and Barrett only had to wait three weeks to return to their former home city after being traded. As they mount their closure game against the Big Apple, Barrett will probably make an apprentice tonight against his former team. The Toronto Raptors injury report states that they will be missing their starting center, Jakob Poeltl, in the upcoming game, as he is sidelined due to a left ankle sprain. Additionally, there is uncertainty about the availability of forward Otto Porter Jr., who is listed as doubtful because of a right knee sprain.

Barrett and Quickley played crucial roles as integral members of the youthful, locally developed core that ended the New York Knicks’ seven-year playoff drought in 2021. They were instrumental in guiding the team to the second round of the playoffs last spring, marking only the second time this century that the Knicks achieved such a feat. The trade came as a surprise to both players, catching them off guard while they were in Indiana with the Knicks, gearing up for the game against the Pacers on December 30th.

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Since their absence, the New York Knicks have been on a surge.

The New York Knicks without RJ Barret and Emmanuel Quickley

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The New York Knicks secured a close 113-109 victory against the Washington Wizards in their most recent game, marking their eighth win in 10 games this month. This impressive streak began when OG Anunoby joined after being acquired, along with Precious Achiuwa and Malachi Flynn, on December 30th. This trade involved sending away Barrett, Quickley, and a 2024 second-round draft pick.

Knicks Trade Rumor: NY side targets 2023 NBA champion after securing OG Anunoby

OG Anunoby has been a key contributor, averaging 15.0 points per game with a shooting percentage of 51.9 from the field and 43.5 from beyond the arc. Notably, his defensive prowess, recognized by being named to the NBA’s All-Defensive second team last season, has played a significant role. Over the last 10 games, New York’s defense led by Anunoby has limited opponents to an average of 101 points per game. However, RJ and Quickley’s return may put a stop to the Knicks ‘January Surge’.

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Written by:

Akashdeep Banerjee

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Akashdeep Banerjee is an NBA writer at Essentially Sports. After Graduating in Journalism and Mass Communication he forayed into visual Media. A fan of the NBA for the better part of a decade.
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Edited by:

Ruth John

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