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Raptors vs. Hawks: Toronto tries for 50 ... again

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The Raptors take on the Hawks at the ACC with 50 wins - and the health of their star - on the brain.

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Raptors sure haven't been boring since their 119-100 loss to the Thunder on Monday night. A quick look at Twitter on Tuesday might have led you to believe the Raptors' playoff hopes had evaporated overnight.

Yes, the news of Kyle Lowry's elbow drainage and the continuously growing cloud hanging over DeMarre Carroll weren't exactly encouraging topics of conversation Tuesday (topics of conversation you can hear Harsh Dave and myself dive into on this week's episode of The HeadQuarters, by the way). But there is still plenty to be optimistic about for Raptors fans.

Terrence Ross is slated to make his return to the lineup against the Hawks; the Raptors, even if they lose to Atlanta by 50, will still hold a four game cushion on the second-seed; DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry made the Slam Magazine cover alongside the global ambassador; and there is potential for this to be a record-setting occasion for the franchise if Toronto can secure a season-sweep of the Hawks tonight.

Things could be worse. Never forget: the Raptors aren't the Lakers.

Some quick notes ahead of game time:

* Kyle Lowry will play tonight despite getting his elbow drained on Monday after the Thunder game. Eek, I know. But if the Raptors are comfortable with playing him, there clearly can't be that much of a risk of aggravating the injury.

* Luis Scola will rest tonight. Dwane Casey said he's got a bit of a sore knee.

* DeMarre Carroll addressed the media before the game. I'll have a post up shortly with some quotes from Carroll, but here's the gist: Carroll had some swelling in his knee three weeks ago that led him to see some doctors, but he has since been given the OK to start practicing soon. He says he's hoping to ramp things up on the court and in practice starting this week and that he hopes to play in a couple games before the playoffs - and said that's all he'll need to get back up to speed.

Keep an eye out for that post coming up.

Before tip-off, be sure to read Dan Grant's game preview, and comment away.