The Brooklyn Nets will take on the Toronto Raptors tonight at the Barclays Center, which apparently is viewed as an elite NBA arena. Tonight's game is the final game for each team in the In-season Tournament group stage.
Brooklyn has a path to advance to the knockout stage by winning East Group C, or as the East's Wild Card team, but will need help from the likes of Orlando, Boston, and New York tonight. The first step toward advancing for Brooklyn is winning tonight, and they will be shorthanded.
Is Cam Thomas playing tonight?
Unfortunately for the Nets, their leading scorer will not return tonight. Thomas, who sprained his left ankle in Brooklyn's win over ex-Net James Harden and the Clippers on November 8, has not played since. The 22-year-old, averaging 26.9 points a game, is close to a return, and it could happen as soon as Thursday Night in Brooklyn against the Charlotte Hornets.
Luckily for the Nets, Nic Claxton, who also has a left ankle sprain, is available to play tonight.
Are any other Nets out?
Nets starting point guard Ben Simmons and backup point guard Dennis Smith Jr. share more in common than just a position; they both have back injuries and will be out tonight. The timetable for their returns is still unknown.
Other Nets news
Cam Johnson, who has been dealing with cramps the last two games, came out this morning in support of the NBA's In-Season Tournament, which is noteworthy, considering Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum's recent public criticism of the tournament.
These comments make it seem like the Nets are ready to run through a brick wall tonight. There is a potential championship to play for, and both the Nets, and the Nets fans, are ready to go nuts tonight against Toronto, who currently sits in 11th place in the Eastern Conference.