In their last 16 games, the Toronto Raptors have gone 2-14. With their only wins coming to the lifeless Houston Rockets, who later thrashed them, and the exhausted, pre-Aaron Gordon Denver Nuggets.
After trading away Norman Powell, and almost trading away Kyle Lowry, it looked like the Raptors were solely pivoting, not tanking. But after further evaluation, and back-to-back abysmal Lowry performances, the Raptors may be more inclined to lose than win.
The NBA’s draft lottery is one of the best ways to affordably acquire premium, young talent. The caveat, however, is that a team needs to be bad enough to get there. With a lack of centre depth and a confident bench, the Toronto Raptors may be eyeing the bottom of the standings as a viable solution for this year’s massive obstacles. It may also be the smartest option for the team to get the top-end talent it so desperately needs following the super max extension of Giannis Antetkounmpo earlier this season.
To see whether or not the Raptors are looking to remain competitive, catch the same starting five tonight versus the Oklahoma City Thunder in this 8PM EST matchup.
This was one of the Raptors’ worst losses of the season. Despite the missed calls and the streaky shooting, the Toronto Raptors lost to an Oklahoma City Thunder team that was designed to lose. Even with Horford, Dort, and Gilgeous-Alexander out of the lineup, the Thunder out rebounded the Raptors by 28.
While the Raptors tank may have looked like a choice at first, it now looks like their destiny. With Rodney Hood and Stanley Johnson both leaving due to injury, the Toronto Raptor’s hopes of climbing the NBA standings seems thinner and thinner.
The one bright light, however, in tonight’s game was Gary Trent Jr. posting 31 points on 54% shooting from the field and beyond the arc.
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