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Toronto Raptors v Minnesota Timberwolves

That’s A Rap #204: Can things get any worse?

That was a rhetorical question. No need to yell out, ‘YES’. The vibes are definitely low. Hopefully that changes this weekend before the team heads out west.

Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

In November, the Raptors lost by 33 points combined in back-to-back road games in Oklahoma City and Indiana. That was the lowest point of the season.

In December, the Raptors lost by 16 points at home to a Warriors squad missing Andrew Wiggins and Steph Curry. That was the lowest point of the season.

Earlier this month, the Raptors kicked off a crucial six-game homestand against a Bucks team without Jrue Holiday, Joe Ingles, and Khris Middleton. They missed their first 15 field goal attempts and would eventually lose in overtime. That was the lowest point of the season.

This past week, the Raptors lost to the Bucks again — this time without Giannis Antetokounmpo and Middleton. They followed that up with a loss in Minnesota, despite holding a double-digit lead in the fourth and the Timberwolves playing without Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert.

This has to be the lowest point of the season, right? RIGHT?!?

In This Episode:

3:10 — End of an era

After four years with Raptors HQ, the podcast will soon be removed from SB Nation’s network. The recent layoffs at Vox Media — the parent company of SB Nation — affected many podcasts and blogs in the network. While that means we have to find a new way to distribute the show, it will not stop us from continuing to record weekly episodes!

6:05 — Is there a move happening soon?

Considering how poorly this season has gone, there’s a lot of blame to go around. The front office has built a flawed roster. Nick Nurse is riding his starters too hard (again). The players have yet to consistently show last year’s form that got everyone excited about this season. The Raptors are too good to fall much further in the standings, but they’re not good enough to make any noise in a potential play-in (or playoff) game. If a move is happening, this weekend’s home games will be of the bittersweet variety. On Monday, the Raptors embark on a season-long, seven-game road trip out west that ends a few days before the trade deadline.

16:30 — Scottie’s time to shine

The Raptors came close to pulling off the most improbable comeback against the Bucks on January 4. During the fourth quarter, Scottie Barnes went from being scoreless to leading all players in field goals made. Ever since that game, Barnes has been a one-man wrecking crew. He’s scoring at will (and efficiently), driving with purpose, and capitalizing on his court vision to set up his teammates.

21:15 — Siakam’s All-Star case

Scottie’s emergence has also meant that Pascal Siakam’s usage rate has declined. Spicy P has not eclipsed 23 points in any of his last four games. Despite all of this, Siakam’s already made his case for an All-Star spot and should be strongly considered for All-NBA.

40:50 — The Last of Us

What better way to accept that we’re being axed than to use the back half of the episode discussing the hottest new show of the season?

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