Yes, the Raptors are essentially locked into the 2-seed. Yes, the Raptors are finally at full strength (concussion-like symptoms notwithstanding). Yes, the Raptors have nothing to play for over these final six games. Despite having three games remaining against possible first round opponents, Toronto can’t even mess with basketball karma to try and get a more favourable playoff match-up (seeds 6-9 are separated by 1.5 games).
All that being said, there are still a lot of questions to answer and NBA news to discuss. The NBA news cycle never stops and this week was no different. With so many rumours and interesting news items, we had to resurrect our Spill The Tea segment. Also, stay for the final segment where we have a little fun with Sign, Trade, & Release.
Enjoy this week’s episode of That’s A Rap.
On This Week’s Episode:
Do the Raptors really have to play these games? If the Raptors 905 squad weren’t in the thick of another playoff campaign, I’d petition to have them play out the remaining games for the senior squad. Is there anything that can be accomplished during this final stretch?
With the team finally healthy, should Nick Nurse use the final stretch to test the waters on his playoff rotation? Or should he essentially put all his stars in bubble wrap for two weeks?
Speaking of the playoffs, it’s a topic that is being beaten to death, but after Jeremy Lamb’s miraculous shot last Sunday, there’s now a 5-team logjam for the final three playoff spots in the East. Is it fair to assume that the Raptors can defeat any of those five teams in a 7-game series? When it comes to discussing who we’d like to face (or not face), does it basically boil down to which opponent we can benefit from most (either through a sweep or as a team that better prepares us for future rounds)?
Richard Jefferson and Tracy McGrady had some interesting takes on a recent episode of The Jump. They both felt strongly that a) Pascal Siakam is NOT the most improved front-runner and b) D’Angelo Russell is. In other words, they join Paul Pierce in the Mount Rushmore of former Raptor torturers turned horribly clueless analysts.
The Lakers are officially eliminated from the playoffs, thus ending Lebron James’ incredible stretch of eight consecutive NBA Finals appearances. Magic Johnson had a blueprint for success after signing James (surround him with shooters) and instead went in the opposite direction (surround him with non-shooters). Obviously, the person to blame is...... Luke Walton?!? We discussed where L.A. might go from here.
What do you think was the worst game of the season for the Raptors? How about the best? We make our choices, but definitely include yours in the comments.
Finally, Jason causes a stir by playing Sign, Trade, or Release with the current Raptor squad. Your answers will likely differ (don’t @ me), so make sure to throw in your two cents below.
3:07 - Last stretch of the year and going through the motions
7:15 - What should Nurse do with playoff rotation?
10:54 - 6th - 10th seed logjam
11:48 - Which first round opponent are we getting?
16:37 - Spill The Tea, where we discuss various news from around the league
17:07 - Jefferson + McGrady = Stick to playing
21:11 - Numbers!!
24:50 - Walton as scapegoat
31:15 - Get Well Nurk
40:43 - Season review: Worst game of the year
45:00 - Season review: Best game of the year
50:37 - Sign, Trade, Release