Listen, I won't lie to you: after learning about Kyle Lowry's wrist injury, I spent the better part of my afternoon searching for silver linings. As the Raptors face the Knicks tonight — in the first of 23 games without their best player — here's a list of things to feel good about:
One. Lowry gets to rest! As a relentless workhorse who's been called upon to lead starting and backup units, 4-6 weeks off might be a really good thing. Also, full healing is preferable to Lowry trying to shoot through an injury — which may have yielded similar results to Playoff Slump 2016.
Two. What about DeRozan, man? He's scored 76 points in the last two games and now has a green light to take 30 shots a game. Dude is about to chase the scoring title, which is extra great because it means Isaiah "Finger Guns" Thomas takes another L.
Three. The Raptors are winning without him... so far. They weren't their prettiest victories, but wins against Boston and Portland without Lowry are reassuring. Oh, and let's not forget that Serge Ibaka looks awesome, both with Jonas Valanciunas and in the switchy PJ Tucker / Patrick Patterson combination.
Four. The third-place Wizards are playing five games in seven nights next week out west, after playing Toronto twice on Wednesday and Friday. If the Raptors keep rolling, they could actually gain a game or two in the "race to not get bounced by LeBron in the second round".
Five. This injury handling was dysfunctional, but at least we're not the Knicks. As if the schedule gods knew Raptors fans would need comparison bias today to feel happy, they gave us the New York Knicks. This is the team that just waived Brandon Jennings to tank harder, while $18.5 million of freshly-injured Joakim Noah looms large over Madison Square Garden. It could be worse, folks.
Six. Cory Joseph and Delon Wright have the best fades of any 1-2 point guard combination in the league.
Anyway, if you want more on tonight's game, check out Sean Woodley's preview from this morning — a much simpler time in all our lives. Now let's get to the comments. What are you feeling positive about?