It’s the final game of the regular season. The Toronto Raptors are currently riding a 3-game win streak. The New York Knicks are out of the play-ins. Since Philadelphia won at home yesterday, Toronto is officially locked into the 5th seed, can’t go up, can’t fall down. At the time of this writing, besides OG Anunoby being questionable, all of the regular rotation players are available to play. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Raptors brass sat them anyway. If you decided to skip watching this game, I wouldn’t blame you.
If Toronto had not lost last Sunday against Miami, and they still won all the following games, they could have had a chance at 50 wins against New York. Since there is no prospect of that happening, the one thing that could have made this game meaningful is no longer there. For New York, it’s the end of another disappointing season that they just want to get over.
Here are the details for tonight’s contest.
Where to Watch:
Sportsnet, 7:00PM EST
Toronto – Fred VanVleet, Gary Trent Jr., Scottie Barnes, OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam
Knicks – Immanuel Quickley, Alec Burks, Evan Fournier, Obi Toppin, Jericho Sims
Toronto – OG Anunoby (thigh – questionable), Isaac Bonga (G-League – out), Dalano Banton (G-League – out), Justin Champagnie (G-League – out), David Johnson (G-League – out)
New York – Mitchell Robinson (illness – questionable), Quentin Grimes (knee – questionable), Miles McBride (knee – questionable), RJ Barrett (knee – out), Julius Randle (quad – out), Nerlens Noel (foot – out), Cam Reddish (shoulder – out), Derrick Rose (ankle – out), Kemba Walker (not with team – out)
With Philadelphia’s win against Indiana on Saturday afternoon, The Raptors are officially locked into the 5th seed. Their opponent for the first round, barring a Celtics loss, will most likely be the Joel Embiid and James Harden led Sixers. In the season, the Raptors took 3 of 4, and have won both games in the Wells Fargo Center. Additionally, since the big trade that sent James Harden to Philadelphia, Toronto has not lost against them.
We all know the playoffs are a different animal. Winning the season series 3-1 has no bearing on the result of a best-of-7 series. However with smoke, there’s fire, and the Raptors are definitely on fire. They have won 8 of 9, and since Dec. 31, the Raptors have gone 34-16, good for 5th best record in that time span. Toronto has been a nightmare matchup against the Sixers this season, and the playoffs are all about matchups.
This season has been an enjoyable one. Despite entering the season with many experts picking the Raptors to finish outside a playoff position, with optimists thinking of a play-in position, the Raptors could finish just shy of 50 wins. Pascal Siakam has not only bounced back, but has become an even better version of himself, showing a myriad of moves and improved shot making while giving himself more than a considerable shot at an All-NBA team. Fred VanVleet was an All-Star. The most surprising thing however? Scottie Barnes.
Scottie Barnes is Rookie of the Year.— Amit Mann (@Amit_Mann) April 8, 2022
That’s it. pic.twitter.com/n4orlBwPSv
Rookie of The Year was not something I envisioned for Barnes before the season started. He hasn’t just exceeded my expectations, but everyone else’s too. Toronto’s season has been a success in many ways, and whatever happens going forward, we can all be glad to have Scottie Barnes as a Toronto Raptor.
It’s Time for Awards!
It’s the last game of the season for Toronto, with tonight’s game against the Knicks being a glorified scrimmage, there’s not much to talk about. Much of these picks are an estimate of what voters would choose, not necessarily what players I believe are deserving (I would vote Giannis MVP and DPOY, LeBron would not make an All-NBA, and Fred VanVleet would be all defensive 2nd team if that was the case).
Most Valuable Player: Nikola Jokic (DEN)
Defensive Player of the Year: Marcus Smart (BOS)
Sixth Man of the Year: Tyler Herro (MIA)
Most Improved Player: Dejounte Murray (SAS)
Rookie of the Year: Scottie Barnes (TOR)
Coach of the Year: Monty Williams (PHX)
Executive of the Year: Arturas Karnisovas (CHI)
All-NBA 1st Team / All-NBA 2nd Team / All-NBA 3rd Team:
G - Devin Booker / Ja Morant / Trae Young
G - Luka Doncic / Steph Curry / DeMar DeRozan
F- Jayson Tatum / Kevin Durant / Jimmy Butler
F- Giannis Antetokounmpo / LeBron James / Pascal Siakam
C - Nikola Jokic / Joel Embiid / Karl Anthony Towns
All Rookie 1st Team / All Rookie 2nd Team:
G - Cade Cunningham / Josh Giddey
G - Jalen Green / Bones Hyland
F - Franz Wagner / Chris Duarte
F - Scottie Barnes / Herb Jones
C - Evan Mobley / Jonathan Kuminga
All Defensive 1st Team / All Defensive 2nd Team:
G - Marcus Smart / Patrick Beverley
G - Mikal Bridges / Matisse Thybulle
F - Giannis Antetokounmpo / Jimmy Butler
F - Jaren Jackson Jr. / Draymond Green
C - Bam Adebayo / Rudy Gobert
Have a different opinion? Let us know below.