The Raptors head into tonight’s game with the Suns on the longest losing streak currently in the Eastern Conference. They have set team records in futility in back to back games giving up the most bench points in a game and blowing the largest lead in franchise history. The talk has been to leave that lose to Golden State behind them but that is easier said than done. Casey’s change to the starting line-up can only be considered an abject failure at this point.
The Suns have been surprisingly average in the tougher Western Conference with 10-9 record and are 5-3 on their home floor. P.J Tucker once a second round pick of the Raptors who fell out of the NBA has fought his way back and is playing for this Suns squad after an exodus on several years from the NBA.
Balanced scoring has been the way the Suns have been getting it done with 6 players averaging in double figures scoring. It is a team that has had a major turnover in the last couple years. Steve Nash would not recognize the team that plays in Phoenix currently. A extremely young group lead by Eric Bledsoe and featuring recent college standouts like Miles Plumlee from Duke and the Morris twins who they reunited through a trade that played together at Kansas.
Heading into this road trip this was the game the Raptors had to have circled and the one they likely had a chance at winning. It seems even more the case when rumours began that Kobe Bryant could make his return tonight and face the Raptors on Sunday. The Suns actually come in riding high with a road win over the Rockets 97-98 on Wednesday night.
Much like last season the Raptors have started December on a major slide and it is likely to continue if the Raptors do not find a way to win tonight. The date of December 15 th is fast approaching when all NBA teams can trade all of their contracts available to be traded. It has traditionally been the start of teams exploring the trade market. The issue the Raptors will face if they decide to take this roster apart will be the fact the market place will be highly in favour of the teams that consider themselves buyers with so many teams focused on the draft class for the upcoming NBA Draft in June.