Yet another season of high expectations for everyone going up in flames for the Toronto Raptors this is life. It is nothing new and we should all expect it by now but it still hurts all the same. You feel like Charlie Brown trying to kick that football every season. However in the back of your mind you know full well Lucy is going pull the ball away. When are we going to learn?
They say timing is everything in life and the Raptors tend to have some of the worst when it comes to injuries. After they play Boston who was without Rajon Rondo in Brooklyn last night and lost, they move on to what should be easy wins on their schedule. Well three of the next four anyway. They face Orlando on Sunday after that a three game road trip against Philadelphia, Charlotte and Detroit. It doesn’t get much easier than that in the NBA these days.
Based on the timeline given yesterday Kyle Lowry will be out for all four of those games. When the window opens for his return who are the Raptors playing? The always tough San Antonio Spurs, the new and improved Houston Rockets and the surprising Memphis Grizzlies.
In order for the Raptors to have a chance to make the post season they need to win all the games against the teams they are capable of beating with few exceptions. However in true Raptors fashion they will be short handed for this soft part of their schedule with injuries.
Even when Lowry returns their small forward position remains quite a mess as I outlined yesterday in the Bleacher Report. It just makes you feel as a Raptor fan like you are living the same experience over and over. I honestly thought that for the first time in I don’t know how long I could still believe the Raptors had a chance to make the post-season when I opened my Christmas presents and said hello to a new year this season. The hope of that rather modest dream is in some serious jeopardy.
What amazes me is the resilience of Toronto sports fans. This latest Blue Jays trade is an example of that. After being kicked in the teeth so many times they get some glimmer of hope and they run with. It takes so little to get fans excited. The Raptors win against the Pacers was an example of that. While the media in the U.S pointed out the true awful nature of the Raptors win over Indiana the Raptor fans were just happy to have a win no matter how ugly it was.
I likely have become more jaded in almost five years of doing this. I don’t mean to be as much as I am trying to be a realist. Even when everyone was trying to convince themselves and others this was a playoff team, I said it was not going to be. Not because I wanted to say it but because it was how I truly felt. That said no one can predict the future entirely and the way things have played out you would almost say the Raptors are cursed or doomed.
Maybe Dwane Casey and company can prove me wrong and actually win these games that on paper before the injures they should have. Maybe I will not have to write the Raptors off by Christmas. Maybe Lucy will one day let Charlie Brown kick that damn football.
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