Where to watch: TSN2
Something sad happened the other night: the Raptors clinched a playoff spot, despite losing their second game in a row. In 2014, this was a team that was playing so well that we were all confident 50 wins was within reach for the first time in franchise history. Given their struggles since then in 2015, Toronto would have to win eight of their remaining ten games to do so. It's not impossible, but getting a win tonight against the Lakers would be a great start.
Despite the recent loss in Chicago, there were positives to be taken from it. Vasquez, Lou Williams and Terrence Ross scored efficiently, and despite an okay stat line, Jonas battled inside. What the Raptors need to do is carry this effort forward, find their defensive intensity and get in stride until Kyle Lowry can rejoin them.
The Lakers on the other hand are winners of two of their last three, and are coming off of a thrilling overtime victory against the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Purple and Gold has recently found some success with their backcourt of Jeremy Lin and Jordan Clarkson. Still, given the size, skill, and athletic advantages that the Raptors backcourt possesses, this duo shouldn't be too much of a problem. It's Toronto's lack of consistency over the last little while that opens a window of concern.
Following the Chicago game, DeMar was quoted as saying: "All we need is that one game to get ourselves going." Hopefully this is that game, because awaiting them after this weekend are James Harden, Dwight Howard and the rest of the Houston Rockets. Following the Rockets, the Raptors end the season with a relatively easy string of games against sub .500 teams like the Nets, Timberwolves, Magic and Celtics. This would be a great time for the Raptors to start a nice little winning streak, and here's to hoping that the spark ignites tonight.
What do you think Raptors fans? Will the Raptors show up tonight, or should we brace for another disappointing loss?