We're down to eight games left in the season, and the Raptors have won six in a row. It's fair to say this is an antsy time. Why? Because we want the playoffs, even though we don't know what they'll bring just yet. It just needs to happen.
The Hornets claim to want the playoffs, and in truth star Kemba Walker is labouring as hard as he can to make it a reality, but, oof, it's just not happening in Charlotte. What was once a decent mid-level Eastern Conference team has listed into outsider status -- 33-41, 11th place, no hope in sight. They've got moxie these Hornets, Walker makes sure of that, but that's not enough.
It feels strange to write this, because, well, the Hornets used to be the bane of the Raptors' existence (along with the Bulls, recently vanquished). They always played Toronto tough, and actually did blow them out earlier this season. But now, with the playoffs looming and the goofy visage of Frank Kaminsky becoming more and more agape, this contest feels like a mere formality. What else is there to say?
We had Stephen Campbell do the preview this morning, which you can read here. And Dwane Casey did opt to provide two updates before tip-off. First: DeMarre Carroll, fresh off a sore back, will start tonight and attempt to play as much as he can. Second, and much, much more importantly: Kyle Lowry is working, "working his butt off" apparently -- and shooting with his "good hand."
File that one away as we watch this late-March contest against the Hornets. Now let's get in the comments.