After the win on Friday against the Rockets, I’m once again asking the Big Questions™ about these Toronto Raptors. It seems like the game might have been a watershed moment — a turning point where the league is no longer 95% decided that Cavaliers-Warriors IV is an inevitable conclusion to the season.
No matter that it was a win or a loss for the Raptors, it matters that this game was good. Both teams came in with impressive strategies: Houston using P.J. Tucker as a rogue defender to throw off both bigs and smalls; Toronto leaving their centre in the paint and aggressively guarding the perimeter to force the Rockets into discomfort. Strategically and in reality (thanks to a raucous ACC), it felt like a Finals game.
It’s pretty awesome that the Raptors got that kind of performance in their last real test against the Western Conference’s elite. Now, they return to the daily grind — winners of seven straight, they come into New York City to meet the Knicks. New York has lost 14 of 15 and is going in the other direction, another tanking team widening the parity for the NBA’s stretch run.
Let’s enjoy these very good Toronto Raptors, and remember they proved themselves on the big stage. We saw them do it Friday, we know they can do it today.
Check out Ben Scott’s preview and head into the comments.
Where to Watch
Sportsnet One, 1 PM ET
Toronto - Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Norman Powell, Serge Ibaka, Jonas Valanciunas
New York - Emmanuel Mudiay, Frank Ntilikina, Tim Hardaway Jr., Lance Thomas, Enes Kanter
Toronto - OG Anunoby (ankle), Delon Wright (toe)
Anunoby and Wright are out again today. Powell starts. Look for Malcolm Miller to continue to fill the Delon role off the bench.— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) March 11, 2018
New York - Joakim Noah (personal), Ron Baker (shoulder), Kristaps Porzingis (knee)