The funny thing about basketball coaches is that they’re always chasing an ideal that can never be reached: the perfect team. Dwane Casey says it all the time, the Raptors aren’t a finished product, and no matter how many times they win — which has been a lot this year — they’re not done yet.
The Spurs meanwhile, the other team taking the floor tonight, are perhaps closer to the goal. They’re not perfect either — they lose games, they’re dealing with a large amount of injuries — but most teams in the NBA would still name them as an inspiration.
So what can the Raptors do tonight?
The way I look at it is this: the Raptors can, and have, beaten the Spurs before (though not in San Antonio — at least not in the last ten years). The goal for Toronto now is to approach a game against the Spurs not like they’re approaching some sort of oracle, but rather: just another team.
Can it be done? Can the Raptors look past the titles, the history, and the mystique of the true model franchise in the NBA? Can they believe it’s in them to just play their game and win?
You know the answer to this already: let’s watch.
Where to Watch:
TSN, 7:00 pm
Toronto – Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, OG Anunoby, Serge Ibaka, Jonas Valanciunas
San Antonio – Tony Parker, Danny Green, Kyle Anderson, LaMarcus Aldridge, Pau Gasol
Toronto – Fred VanVleet (still a game time decision)
San Antonio – Manu Ginobili, Rudy Gay, Kawhi Leonard