If there was ever a game for a professional basketball team to take off, it would be this one. Tonight the Raptors go into San Antonio, where the Spurs have not lost this season, on the second night of a back-to-back, with their playoff position all but guaranteed at number two, and their best player, Kyle Lowry, still possibly nursing an elbow injury.
All this, and Toronto has actually already beaten the Spurs once this season. How hard would you work in this situation?
Of course, in basketball as in life, there are no points for just showing up. As has been the case all year, we can expect the Raptors to at least put up a token fight, to play their game and to expend their energy. It's a safe-ish bet to expect some rest for one of either DeMar DeRozan or Kyle Lowry, but we don't know that for sure.
The Spurs meanwhile are a juggernaut of historic proportions. They'd be the easy title favourite on the year if it weren't for the other historic juggernaut currently running roughshod over the league. (I'm talking about the preposterous 68-8 Warriors.) Who knows what coach Gregg Popovich has in store for the Raptors -- will he rest guys? Will he try some wild new strategy? Will he play possum for 30 minutes and then wipe the team out in the second half? And just how much does he care about a perfect home record?
Time will tell.
In the meantime, let's get into the comments and, yes, prepare for the worst.