The Raptors came out of All-Star break with a key matchup at home on Friday against the division-leading Celtics, and came out with a crucial 107-97 win as they try to chase down either Boston or Washington to avoid a potential 1-4 matchup against the Cavaliers in the second round. Sean Woodley has all the details from Friday’s game, and I have to say, while Serge Ibaka is the more marquee acquisition, P.J. Tucker will definitely become everyone’s favorite Raptor heading into the playoffs, especially if he continues to rip basketballs out of Isaiah Thomas’s hands late in the fourth quarter.
How many defensive specialists have we pinned our hopes on in the last few years? From James Johnson to DeMarre Carroll, we’ve been there and back. I’m thinking Tucker might be the guy we’ve been looking for. Shouts to Masai Ujiri and also read Daniel Hackett on the salary cap implications of acquiring Tucker.
There was bad news too, as Kyle Lowry missed the game with a right wrist injury, one in which Dwane Casey says will not be just a one day thing. The details are here, and you can watch Lowry talk about his injury here.
Elsewhere, Russell Peddle wrote a trade deadline special of his weekly ‘Dinos & Digits’ column, and John Gaudes rounded up everything that happened at the trade deadline. Daniel Reynolds hit us up with another edition of Bringing Up Bebe.
In 905 news, Axel Toupane signed with the Milwaukee Bucks and we wish him all the best. Cole Shelton has all the other 905 news you need. I put a stop to all the DeMarcus Cousins-to-Toronto talk...for now.
The Blazers are in town tonight, and then a crucial back-to-back against the Washington Wizards. There’s renewed optimism and a different level of energy in the building with the acquisitions of Ibaka and Tucker, but we’ll get some clarity about those two games against the Wizards on what our realistic goals might be in terms of playoff seeding. Get well soon, Kyle.