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That’s A Rap #137: Talking about the newest Raptors and the play-in tournament

In a season of ups and mostly downs, the Raptors have some positive vibes going again. Young players are developing. Core players are getting much-needed rest. Oh, and the team’s winning too!

San Antonio Spurs v Toronto Raptors Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

We’ve entered the final quarter of the regular season. Wouldn’t it be fitting if the Raptors put together another fake comeback?

Before yesterday’s win over Orlando, Jason and Dre recorded this week’s episode with an eye towards the future. What do the Raptors have with their newest additions and how do they fit into the long-term plans? What about the short-term plans and weighing the benefits of a play-in position versus a high draft pick?

We’ve reached the stretch run of this weird season. So, buckle up, enjoy the ride, and throw on the latest edition of That’s a Rap!

In This Episode:

2:45 — Bite-sized Raptors

The Raptors are on the brink of squeezing into the play-in position and relying heavily on... Khem Birch, Malachi Flynn, and Freddie Gillespie?? This odd season continues to get odder as Toronto’s playoff hopes ride on two players who weren’t part of the team two weeks ago and a rookie who was seen as the future — not the present.

19:40 — Go big or go home

The Raptors are in a dog fight for the play-in position. After last night’s win over the tanking Magic, Toronto has fought their way back into the (coveted?) 10th spot with an upcoming game against another tanking team in Oklahoma City. As Nick Nurse continues balancing playing time with core players returning to full health and developing young players, the Raptors are a team that no one wants to face in the playoffs.

24:50 — No tank you

The thought of tanking, while enticing because of a draft filled with high-end talent, has a number of negative consequences — building a loser’s mentality, destroying the team’s chemistry, harming the players’ already-fragile mental health.


Taking a quick tangent from basketball, Kim’s Convenience was unexpectedly cancelled. Like Schitt’s Creek, it was another CBC show that helped break barriers and open eyes (and hopefully doors). If you haven’t watched any episodes yet, it’s a better alternative than watching the Celtics or Bucks playing further into the playoffs than the Raptors.

35:25 — Farewell LMA

Speaking of abrupt ends, Lamarcus Aldridge unexpectedly called it quits on his storied career. In a heartfelt message, he explained his heart problems and the horrifying ordeal of his final game. Aldridge was an icon in Portland who produced a couple of good seasons in San Antonio. When Toronto had the #1 pick in 2006, selecting Andrea Bargnani over Aldridge is one of the biggest what-ifs in franchise history. Hindsight’s 20-20 but a Bosh-Aldridge frontcourt would’ve been a nightmare to guard.