Even after a five-game skid and with Chris Bosh injured, the
Toronto Raptors still have a chance to salvage their season.
The Raptors can secure a playoff spot with a win and some help
as they host the New York Knicks on Wednesday night in their season
Toronto (39-42) needs a win over New York (29-52) and a Chicago
loss to Charlotte on Wednesday night to secure its third playoff
berth in four seasons.
The Raptors trail the Bulls by one game, but hold the tiebreaker
by virtue of winning the season series 2-1. Whichever teams ends up
with the Eastern Conference’s eighth seed will face league-leading
Cleveland in the playoffs.
Without Bosh, Toronto probably wouldn’t last long versus the
Cavaliers. The power forward will miss his fifth straight game, and
his status for the start for the postseason is uncertain after
undergoing surgery on his broken nose last week.
The Raptors lost their first four games without Bosh and five in
a row overall before beating Detroit 111-97 on Monday night.
Toronto had a 1 1/2-game lead over Chicago before its skid.
The Raptors lost starting shooting guard Sonny Weems for the
last few minutes after he appeared to hurt his right ankle. He is
expected to be a game-time decision.
Weems averaged 19.0 points in three games before being held to
six in his last contest. If he can’t play, rookie DeMar DeRozan
will likely get his 66th start.
DeRozan had 12 points Monday as the Raptors shot 60.0 percent
(45 for 75) from the field and 3-point range (9 for 15). Toronto
had a season-high 37 assists, getting 23 from point guards Jose
Calderon and Jarrett Jack after they totaled seven in a 104-88 loss
to the Bulls on Sunday night.
“We had a lot of guys trying to do too much and going 1-on-1, so
we stressed the importance of trusting your teammates and sharing
the ball,” coach Jay Triano said.
New York had five players score in double figures as it snapped
a three-game losing streak with a 114-103 win over Washington on
David Lee had a game-high 26 points in what could have been his
last game at Madison Square Garden as a Knick. New York, wrapping
up its franchise-worst ninth straight losing season, could free up
a total of $32 million in salary cap space if it renounces Lee’s
“I obviously bleed blue and orange and enjoy being here in New
York, but there is a business side to this and that’s going to take
effect once the horn sounds … in Toronto,” he said.
Lee has averaged 25.7 points and 16.6 rebounds in three games
against the Raptors this season. Toronto, though, has a chance to
sweep the season series for the first time in franchise
Weems had 20 points and nine rebounds in the Raptors’ 102-96 win
over the Knicks on March 5.