By keeping most of the stars including Kyle Lowry on the trade deadline, the Toronto Raptors sent a message that they are not ready to make the playoffs yet.
The only Canadian team started very slowly, even trailing by 18 points in the third quarter. Then, the late game promotion was quickly damaged by some failed games.
The Raptors have 18 games left this season, and they rank 11th in the Eastern Conference. They are two games behind the Chicago Bulls, ranking 10th, which allows them to participate in the “mini series” to ensure a place in the playoffs.
“We have to play one game at a time. Lowry said after the last defeat that we can’t be too far away. We are in an unprecedented situation. We have never fought, and there are still some players that need to be developed.”
The Raptors will have the opportunity to start the game on Tuesday. They will start a five-game series from the Amalie Arena in Tampa, starting with the Atlanta Hawks.
Lowry returned to his team after missing six games with a toe infection. For most of the season, he struggled with this problem.
“This is an infection. I played anyway, but eventually left, but came back. It was not completely cured, and there was still a little infection left, so we decided that I needed to take a break to make it all cured. It’s not hurt, it’s just a weird thing I have to deal with.”
If the Raptors want to make the playoffs, their organizers will have to be their guides along with Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet.
VanVleet is still struggling with injuries, and when he prepares to return to the court, he will provide a one-stop suspension for the game against the Los Angeles Lakers on March 6.
However, the combination of Lowry and Sikam performed well on Sunday, scoring 19 and 16 points respectively.