Count them out: the Raptors play their next seven games at the Air Canada Centre. It's not bad timing when you think about it -- Toronto is making a push for the number one seed, they have 14 of their final 24 games at home, and only one three game road trip to get through. Tonight, the Raptors take on the 28-31 Utah Jazz who are fighting for their playoff lives in the West.
Here are some bits of news and notes from the pre-game:
- First, the big news: Jason Thompson is available to play tonight. Will this matter in the big picture? That remains to be seen.
- Also, after all the moves Raptors 905 made recently (Axel Toupane and Greg Smith signed 10-day contracts with Denver and Minnesota, respectively), Norman Powell and Bruno Caboclo have been recalled by the big club for tonight's game.
- The cut-eye coach Dwane Casey gave a reporter after he was told that, numbers-wise, the Lowry-Joseph-Ross-Patterson-Biyombo lineup is the best in the league right now was extremely legendary.
- Casey thinks Delon Wright is "going to be a heck of a player in this league." He cited Wright's offense as being in a good place, but his defense as lagging behind. Casey admitted that he hadn't planned on playing Wright so much in that Pistons game, but was forced to and was happy to
- I asked about resting Kyle Lowry more and Casey said, "We'll see. I'm sure we're going to find some games somewhere." Before adding: "We're not in a position where we can be comfortable and we're worried about winning right now. As much as managing minutes, winning is the most important thing." Casey said that sitting Lowry on Sunday had as much to do with his huge workload in Friday's Cleveland game, as well as the extra two day lay-off (which added up to a nice four days of rest). Casey called the whole situation an "anomaly." So, the jury remains out on how much Lowry rest we'll see down the stretch.
- Still can't get over this:
Casey referenced DeRozan's dunk on Gobert from earlier in the season, saying he "snuck one in on him." Yes... he was v. sneaky about it.— Daniel Reynolds (@aka_Reynolds) March 2, 2016
Casey was talking about this subtle dunk:
No major injury notes for the Raptors tonight. DeMarre Carroll is still out (sad face) but the rest of the team -- plus Thompson! -- is ready to go.