The longest win streak in Raptors’ franchise history is 11 games. It happened just a couple years ago during the 2015-16 season. They got some quality wins off the Wizards, Celtics, and Clippers (and also some help from the Magic, Sixers, and Nets).
From this vantage point, with everything that is going on right now (we’ll get to that in a second), it’s fitting that such a winning run would happen back then. That magical year was the high-water mark in Toronto’s history: a franchise-best 56 wins, their first seven-game series win, an eventual (and hopeful) run to the Eastern Conference Finals. They were crushed by the Cavaliers, but no matter — the season was a success.
But now the Raptors are here again. They sit on ten straight wins, with a record of 50-17, and a chance at 60 wins. Yes, they are actually better than they were those two years ago, better in fact than they’ve ever been. The surprising hope of the 2015-16 season has given way to steely resolve. These Raptors believe they belong, and want to go all the way.
Tonight, the 22-46 Dallas Mavericks come into Toronto. We could reflect here on this possibly being the final appearance in the city from all-time great, Dirk Nowitzki; or discuss the connection coach Dwane Casey has to the Mavs; or even talk about what the Raptors could learn from such a storied franchise (on the court, anyway).
But in truth, it doesn’t matter. The Raptors are looking to just buckle down and beat every team that is put in their way — even if, as now appears to be the case, Kyle Lowry is taking the night off to rest.
Casey will always say that any team can beat any team in this league, and we know that to be true. (These same Mavs beat the Raptors back in December, if you’ll recall.) So if the 10-game win streak, and potential franchise history, means anything to this particular Raptors team, we also already know they’ve put it all aside anyway to focus on what’s to be done.
Now, let’s watch anyway.
Here’s Dan Grant’s Raptors-Mavericks preview from this morning.
And here are your updated details:
Where to Watch
TSN4 at 7:30pm EST
Toronto [UPDATED] - Delon Wright, DeMar DeRozan, OG Anunoby, Serge Ibaka, Jonas Valanciunas
Dallas [UPDATED] - Dennis Smith Jr., Dwight Powell, Dorian Finney-Smith, Harrison Barnes, Dirk Nowitzki
Toronto - Norman Powell (out — ankle sprain), Kyle Lowry (rest)
Norman Powell (left ankle sprain) and Kyle Lowry (rest) will not play tonight vs. Dallas.— RaptorsMR (@RaptorsMR) March 16, 2018
Dallas - Wesley Matthew (out), Seth Curry (out), Salah Mejri (day-to-day)