When Kyle Lowry went down, the Raptors were 33-24. A simple .500 record without its best shooter and playmaker would have been entire acceptable for Toronto. Instead, the team has altered its identity on the fly (with the help of Serge Ibaka and PJ Tucker), and ridden defense and now four-time Player of the Week DeMar DeRozan to an 11-5 record.
A sixth-straight win is on the line as the Orlando Magic -- purveyors of unwatchable basketball -- come to the Air Canada Centre tonight with former Raptor and future All-Star Terrence Ross in tow.
If the Raptors are going to tie their season-best win-streak of the season, they'll have to do so without the help of DeMarre Carroll, who will miss his second straight game per Dwane Casey. The injury appears to be the result of a nasty fall he took against Miami last week. P.J. Tucker will get the start once again.
Orlando has been a weird bugaboo for the Raptors this year, akin to other basement dwellers like the Suns and Kings. Two losses over the course of five days in early January/late February marked one of the darkest weeks of the season for the Raptors.
There's no room for negativity tonight, though. One of two things is going to happen: either the Raptors will take care of business against a vastly inferior opponent; or Ross carry his ragtag group of teammates to a heart-warming win. Literally no other outcome is possible.
Go nuts in the comments and enjoy the game!