Will Gordon Hayward Play Tonight? Toronto Raptors vs Charlotte Hornets – Injury Updates, Lineups, and Prediction

Published 01/16/2021, 12:30 PM EST
Jan 14, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball (2) steals the ball during the fourth quarter of a game against the Toronto Raptors at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports


The Toronto Raptors host the Charlotte Hornets once again, after beating them on Thursday. The two teams will battle again at the Scotiabank Arena at 7:30 pm EST tonight.

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It has been a very surprising season for the Raptors so far. Just two years since their championship run, they are now the 13th ranked team in the East. Their current record is 3-8, and their most important players like Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, and Kyle Lowry have had a tough start to the season.

The Hornets, on the other hand, have caught the league by surprise with some of their results. They are 6-8 right now, and this run includes wins against teams like the Nets and the Mavericks. They were ridiculed for giving the max to Gordon Hayward, but he is currently proving those critics wrong with his All-Star form.

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Toronto Raptors expected lineup

The Raptors just have one confirmed absentee for tonight’s game. Three-time NBA champion Patrick McCaw is out with a knee injury. They also have Alex Len on the injury list, but he is listed as questionable for the game.

Jan 14, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse looks on during the third quarter of a game against the Charlotte Hornets at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports

They will have an unchanged lineup with Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet starting as their guards, OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam starting as their forwards, and Aron Baynes starting as their center.

Charlotte Hornets expected lineup

The Hornets will miss Cody Zeller who suffered a hand injury. But their bigger concern will be Gordon Hayward, who is questionable following a hip injury. He is likely to play, as the Hornets need him badly for the game.

Jan 14, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Charlotte Hornets forward P.J. Washington (25) reacts to a call which was later overturned during the fourth quarter of a game against the Toronto Raptors at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports

So they should also have an unchanged lineup with Devonté Graham and Terry Rozier starting as their guards, Caleb Martin and P.J. Washington as their forwards, and Bismack Biyombo as their center.

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LaMelo Ball will continue to be a spark off the bench, but fans will be wondering what more he has to do to get a start.

Predictions

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The Raptors eked out a win last time, and they will be expected to repeat the same tonight. If Hayward misses the game, they will have an even better chance to win. They need to build on their momentum now after finally getting a win. The recent form of Siakam and Chris Boucher has been amazing, and they will once again be the catalysts for a Raptors win tonight.

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Aaron Mathew

1478 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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