The Raptors picked a perfect time to complete one of their most successful road trips in franchise history.
For the 14th time in their 26-year history, Toronto embarked on a road trip of six games or more. Despite the loss to Boston, the Raptors finished with a 4-2 record, marking only the second time they’ve finished one of these trips with a winning record. Rebounding from a 2-8 start was always going to be a difficult climb, but with the team’s encouraging play of late, upcoming dates with Milwaukee and Philadelphia aren’t as daunting as they originally appeared.
Sit back, get comfortable, and enjoy the latest episode of That’s A Rap!
In This Episode:
2:27 — Road trip recap
When the question of “what was the best part of the road trip” garners several answers spanning different games, that’s probably a good sign of a successful road trip. The Raptors have crept into the top-10 in offense (#7 in offensive rating) and net rating (#9 overall, #4 among East teams).
10:02 — Starter Norm
The Raptors are 8-5 with Norm Powell as a starter. The stats match the eye test. Norm’s averaging 21.1 points on 50/45/90 shooting splits. Like the Raptors, his early season struggles are behind him. The obvious decision would be to bump Aron Baynes once OG Anunoby returns, but would that smaller lineup be sustainable for the rest of the season? How would the team fare without a traditional Center when facing teams that employ one? Does it even matter?
15:20 — Tech (not-so-)Savvy
Technical fouls are being called at an alarming rate this season. With Toronto’s propensity to argue with referees, it comes as no surprise that the Raptors lead the league in techs. Outside of Nick Nurse’s ejection in Memphis, which seemingly ignited the team towards a game-swinging run, the number of techs called on the Raptors is solidifying their reputation as the “Rasheed Wallace of teams.” Whether or not it’s warranted, the team needs to clean that up if they want to climb above .500.
18:21 — Hits keep coming
After starting the season with one of the easiest schedules, the Raptors’ positive play couldn’t have come at a better time with some East rival matchups on the docket. How will the improved offense and more-defined rotation fare the second time around against the Bucks and Sixers?
30:00 — Keeping it real (estate)
The Lowry family has put their house up for sale. What does this mean? Are the outlandish trade rumours we seemingly read every week actually holding any truth? Or are the Lowry’s simply selling a property that won’t have any use for the foreseeable future?
35:55 — End of the line for Kyle and Norm?
With Lowry’s current real estate situation, combined with Powell’s resurging performance of late, the realization is starting to set in: how much longer can we enjoy these players on the roster? It’s an unsettling thought but one that becomes more real with each passing game.