If Pascal Siakam gets back into action, will tonight finally be the night that the Raptors put an end to their five-game skid?
Things have gotten ugly for the Raptors, and that sums it up.The team has now lost five games in a row and is on a low 11 in the Eastern Conference It is perfectly clear that these losses are the result of a team playing without their best players, and yet the Raptors fan base is currently teeming with ideas for trading machines fueling slogans (e.g. Fade for Cade) and general malaise NBA trading deadline is just over a week away, Masai Ujiri must decide the fate of the Raptors, will the team give up mid-season, exhaust the roster and rely on a high draft pick, or will it take another hit at Kyle Lowry’s contract year do at a championship?
There are legitimate arguments on both sides of the debate, though I’d tend to stick them out and see what happens. If the Raptors are healthy they are still able to get a playoff spot this year conquer (albeit a low starting value), and as we’ve seen in the past few years, you never know what can happen in the postseason! If the Raptors were refueling properly, it would have been far smarter to do so earlier in the year as the team neared the end of the conference
Conversely, the Raptors are virtually guaranteed to land a dominant matchup in the first round of the playoffs, and in that scenario, Lowry’s tenure would likely end in a particularly awkward way preparing for the future is important If management is already viewing this season as a lost cause, it may be wise to trade Lowry for assets and win potential talent in the lottery
Tonight, the Raptors will face the Detroit Pistons, the second worst record in the league. Dwane Casey and Company have lost eight of their last ten games, meaning Detroit has an even uglier march than the Raptors Pascal Siakam could returning tonight so we hope he can help put an end to the Raptors’ five-game skid
Toronto – Pascal Siakam (questionable – health and safety protocols), Fred VanVleet (questionable – health and safety protocols), OG Anunoby (except – health and safety protocols), Patrick McCaw (questionable – health and safety protocols), Malachi Flynn (questionable – health and safety protocols)
Detroit – Hamidou Diallo (off the groin), Wayne Ellington (doubtful – adductor), Killian Hayes (off the hip), Rodney McGruder (questionable – elbow), Jahlil Okafor (off the knee), Dennis Smith Jr (Questionable – Health and Safety Protocols)
Norman Powell’s rise on the offensive has been phenomenal night after night he’s the Raptors’ most dependable, versatile goalscorer.While the core of the team has gotten out of hand, Norm has come to the brink of cuts and drives, and he’s hit three scored, both catching and shooting, and dribbling.He has been without a doubt the team’s most enticing player in recent games
This naturally begs the question: will Norm’s production fall off a cliff when the core returns, or will he continue to be a reliably efficient scorer? Relegation to the bank often brings out the worst in the norm However, if he can capitalize on what he has learned from the team’s primary goal option and choose his shots carefully, he could be exactly the spark this team needs
Conversely, if Masai believes Norm will fall back to Earth after the core returns, we’ll likely see his final days in a Raptors uniform on Tuesday, Zach Lowe reported on his podcast that many potential Powell applicants are already Ujiri to inquire about his availability One way or another, over the next week we’ll see how Toronto management rates Powell’s skills on the pitch
Luckily, Pascal Siakam has been released to practice and it is questionable if he will play tonight. If he actually passes, it will be his first game since April 24 February back on the line-up Fred VanVleet has also been released for practice, although currently classified as doubtful it cannot be stressed enough how important these two players are to the Raptors’ versatility of Pascal on either end of the floor, as well as Fred’s gunfights and his tenacious defenses are invaluable The absences of these players create a void in the Raptors’ schedule that the team has been unable to fill in the past couple of games
Don’t suddenly expect everything to be peaches and cream, however, it will take these guys some time to acclimate and the general mood around the team is still tense as the trading deadline is fast approaching it will be interesting to see how today’s shot distribution goes between Pascal, Norm and Fred but don’t read too much into it – if Norm’s role doesn’t wear off tonight, I’d relate that more than anything to OG Anunoby’s continued absence, up to and including OG Anunoby’s continued absence has to do with increasing commercial value
If the Raptors are looking to turn things around, tonight would be the best time to begin. Dreams of playoff success in 2021 have slowly faded as the team slipped to five games 500 for the first time since Sept. January 1st (and since 2013 before), with the Raptors up against the low pistons tonight, this is a perfect opportunity to revive the team with a dominant win
Conversely, if the Raptors lose again, be prepared for the inevitable chaos that will ensue. Sure, it is reasonable to expect some rust out of the gate due to Siakam’s reintegration coupled with general fatigue Ultimately, however, it would be totally unreasonable for the Raptors to lose the butts are full of injuries and, to put it simply, downright terrible.This loss would be so egregious and untimely that it could turn my mind around to refueling.Let’s for a turn on tonight Tide pray
Raptors vs Pistons, Fred VanVleet
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