As per usual with the Raptors, when the "games lost in a row" counter hits two, we all start to freak out. The Raptors haven't lost three games in a row in many months now. It's been quite a run. And while there is some luck to that, there's also a burning desire to not put it on the resume. The last time, earlier this month, the Raptors got close to this feat, DeMar DeRozan was, as he said, "not winning to lose." The Raptors came back and beat the Celtics to right the ship.
The Phoenix Suns are not the Celtics, or any other halfway decent team. They are a listing wreck, tied with the Mavericks as the worst team in the West at 14-29. The roster has some interesting pieces but not a surplus of direction. In there somewhere is the shape of a decent team -- Devin Booker and Eric Bledsoe in the backcourt, PJ Tucker and Jared Dudley as your do-it-all forwards, and the remnant of Tyson Chandler backing everything up. Maybe Marquese, Dragan Bender and TJ Warren become solid pros, maybe not. The jury may be out on Alex Len, too.
So: the Raptors should have the leg up here, despite having lost the first contest against the Suns. They've had a bit of a break, an entire Saturday to absorb the assault of Friday in Charlotte. And they are apparently up Lucas Nogueira, who will play tonight. The grim news: still no Patrick Patterson. Folks, the Raptors need Patrick Patterson.
Check up on our preview here from Harsh Dave, and then: get in the comments. The Raptors need to get back in the W column.