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Raptors vs. Pelicans: A test against backups and apathy

The Raptors look for a win in New Orleans tonight, fighting late-season doldrums more than anything else.

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

It's Easter weekend across this great nation. A time to eat discount candy, sleep in, enjoy fantastic college basketball, take naps, eat more candy, and so on. With all this going on, it can be hard to care about the NBA, especially if you're watching a team in a predetermined playoff spot with little to play for.

Fighting this apathy is tough for fans, but it's also tough for players. The Raptors, who are almost certainly ending the season with the East's second seed, will play a winnable game tonight against the New Orleans Pelicans, who have been decimated by injuries and poor play all year. Anthony Davis, Ryan Anderson, Eric Gordon, Tyreke Evans, Quincy Pondexter, Jrue Holiday -- yeah, they're all out for this one, either shut down or suffering from long-term injuries.

In their place is an expected starting lineup of Omer Asik, Luke Babbitt, Dante Cunningham, Toney Douglas and Alonzo Gee. If that doesn't whet your appetite, I don't know what will. The Raptors are coming in on the second night of a back-to-back, with a game at home against Oklahoma City on Tuesday. You could chalk this in as a "momentum" game, but that might be stretching it a bit.

So yeah, the battle for the Raptors tonight will be less about the team they're playing, and more about the personnel on the court and how much they choose to care. That brings us to our new favourite segment of late-season GameThreads...

Who's playing tonight?

Dwane Casey has been resting players by any means necessary over the last couple weeks. Tonight, Terrence Ross will be out again with a sore thumb, but otherwise the whole team will be out there to play. An interesting choice, but perhaps the coach is sending a message that now's the time to right the ship.

With that, it's time to break out the Mini Eggs, read Harsh Dave's game preview and get into the comments.