On the same day the Blue Jays lost Marcus Stroman to a torn ACL in typical Jays fashion during a pitcher's fielding drill, the Raptors dropped their game in San Antonio 117-107 in what is becoming a very familiar narrative for a team that is now 2-9 since the All-Star Break.
Toronto came out flat in the first quarter, allowing the Spurs to get whatever they wanted, and letting the lead swell to almost 30 points that gave me flashbacks to the Warriors game a few weeks back. Blowouts are rare for this Raptors team and they mounted their comeback in the second half, getting within single digits late in the fourth quarter following a Kyle Lowry corner triple. It was too little to late, and one wonders whether the losing will end anytime soon.
The usual symptoms were present once again tonight: Terrence Ross and DeMar DeRozan settling for too many long twos (a combined 10-for-27 from the field) and Jonas Valanciunas was less than stellar on defense and on the boards in 21 minutes of play. There were positives: Amir Johnson put up 16 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, perhaps aware of all the talk about his decline in the last few days. Lowry shot 10-for-19 from the field, scoring 32 points in the process.
We've reached a point where the lackluster play has extended to beyond just a small sample size to wonder if things will continue to be this way for the rest of the season. A first round match-up against the Washington Wizards -- who haven't been lighting the league on fire in the past few months -- still remains favorable, but having confidence in the Raptors coming out as the better team over a seven-game series is at an all-time low right now.