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A Battle to the Bottom - Raptors Crush Jazz

In the return of the "most interesting man in the NBA", John Lucas III brings the Utah Jazz into Toronto. One, with a clear path to the bottom of the league, while the other in a state of uncertain purpose.

The only guy who looks halfway decent in that camo uniform
The only guy who looks halfway decent in that camo uniform
Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

At this particular moment, the Utah Jazz and Toronto Raptors have completely divergent strategies heading into last night's game.

The Raptors, attempting to do whatever they can to make their assets look more tradeable and win as many games to get into the playoffs, came into last night's game looking to snap their losing streak.

The Utah Jazz however, had flown their white flag before the season started trading all valuable assets such as Paul Milsap and Al Jefferson with the intention of trying to cash in at the Lottery.

It's what makes last night's game so utterly worthless.

You have the Raptors holding the Jazz to just 16.7% from 3 point range, and a mere 36 points at the half.

If you're a fan, do you say "hey, this team can actually play defense?"

Or is this simply because the Jazz have built themselves to enter the off season as quickly as possible.

I mean, at the end of the day, you have DeMar DeRozan and Rudy Gay shooting a combined 10-25, against Richard Jefferson and Gordon Hayward. You have Tyler Hansbrough leading all scorers with 23 points. You also lose Kyle Lowry's right ankle on a nothing play to end the half.

Sure, you can be proud that the Raptors won this game unlike that debacle in Charlotte the other night. But can you even say that this win was something to build on?

And the play just got downright sloppy sloppy at times.

In one sequence alone, you had Jonas Valanciunas giving up the ball on an extremely ill advised pass, which led to a Jazz break where Gordon Hayward turned over the ball simply by dribbling it up the court. The Raptors then took the ball back and Rudy Gay attempted an extremely difficult off balance shot over John Lucas III that barely hit the rim before bouncing into Jonas Valanciunas' hands. Jonas then heads up for a dunk before being blocked by Richard Jefferson, where Amir Johnson picked it out of the air before the ball went out of bounds. Amir takes a shot from behind the backboard that Gay attempted to rebound before Derrick Favors knocked it out of bounds.

It was one of the slowest, low-energy plays that I've seen in quite some time, with neither team having a player who just wanted to take control of the situation.

But don't worry, the Raptors didn't let the Jazz have any part of this game put the game away early and never really looked back.

At one point, the Raptors were well up by 30 points, having surpassed the 100 point mark while the Jazz were still struggling to hit 70.

But that's been par for the course this season for the Jazz who are still looking for their first win.

It's also why I've continually cringed at the thought that the Raptors ever had a decent shot of landing Andrew Wiggins.

You see, teams like the Jazz, the Philadelphia 76ers, and the Phoenix Suns have actively attempted to get rid of all their assets two years ago. Even if the Raptors were to suddenly get rid of Rudy Gay, DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry, and Amir Johnson, I'm still not sure they could be anywhere near as bad as some of those teams that have built themselves for tanking well before this season even began.

There's no doubt in my mind that there's a bigger plan here for this group and that this group is in for a big change.