Three games shouldn’t make or break a team in an 82 game season. One week in the middle of winter shouldn’t finish a team off. March is here and the Toronto Raptors were supposed to be on the march to the playoffs, but this week has almost officially killed off the team’s hopes. Their hopes of making the playoffs are all but finished.
The games came and went and the Raptors ended this week with no wins. Friday night’s loss to the Indiana Pacers topped off the worse stretch of games for the team since their 4-17 start. The Pacers dominated the Raptors beating them in every aspect of the game. The team played with no desire, no emotion and no heart. It was like they already thought they were out of the running for a playoff spot.
Even coach Dwane Casey sensed the lack of urgency. He sent a message to his stars as he played the end of the bench for most of the fourth quarter. I usually never cheer anything Casey’s does, but I applauded him for this move. It was the first time all year he benched his whole starting five including Rudy Gay. He left Andrea Bargnani out there even with the chorus of boos from the fans watching at the Air Canada Centre.
The team went straight to the airport and boarded a flight to Wisconsin where they play the Milwaukee Bucks Saturday night. That game is the final straw in the Raptors season. Other than Saturday night’s tilt the team plays the Bucks one more time and are still six and half games behind them for the final playoff spot.
If the Raptors lose at the Bradley Center then they can unofficially rule themselves out of the playoffs. If they win, they have to continue to win for the entire month and hope other teams in front of them lose. Let’s hope on the trip to Milwaukee the team understands where they have put themselves and that they have to come out against the Bucks with more purpose. Let’s hope they come out with some sort of purpose because Friday night they didn’t.
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