Numbers Game: Where will the Raptors’ offense come from now? - Raptors HQ
Kyle Lowry, Wake Up
Never are a team’s struggles just because of one guy. But when your best player is playing much worse than he usually does, that makes for a big problem.

Lowry, on the season, has averaged 22 points, 4.8 rebounds and 7 assists, on shooting rates of 47% from the floor and 43% from three, and with only 3 turnovers per game.

Over the past three games? His rebounding has dropped to 3 per game, his assists are down to 4.3 per game without any real drop in turnovers, and his shooting percentages have been abysmal, at 35% from the floor and 26% from three. In last year’s playoffs, his shooting abandoned him, but he provided everything else he usually does, and it showed in his impressive on-off court splits. Lowry still has some positive impact (the team has been awful without him, and only really bad with him on the court), he’s just not bringing that all around game and intensity this team needs from him.

Here’s hoping he snaps out of it soon, as without DeRozan there to carry the scoring load, the team will need him even more.
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1 hour ago
Toronto Raptors: Life Without DeMar DeRozan - Tip of the Tower
DeMar DeRozan was never genuinely expected to leave the Toronto Raptors after last season. Regardless, there was some speculation surrounding how the team would do without him, before he signed his five-year, $139 million contract.

Well, now we get the opportunity to find out, at least for a couple of games. As reported by the Toronto Sun‘s Ryan Wolstat, DeRozan will miss Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s matchups with the San Antonio Spurs and Memphis Grizzlies respectively.

With the Raptors currently struggling through their worst losing streak since November 2015, the absence couldn’t have come at a worse time. Speaking to Wolstat and the rest of the media, DeRozan said: “It sucks having to watch.

“I try to go with the mindset this year wanting to play all 82 (games), that was my mindset, just doing that, accomplishing that. But things happen, maybe it’ll force me to sit down and get a rest for a couple of days and come back better.”
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1 hour ago
Raptors once again proving as Lowry goes, so does the team - Sportsnet.ca
The Raptors’ fanbase is fidgety at the best of times — all this winning is still a fairly new thing after all. And you can point to struggling teams around the league all you want — Cleveland is 4-6 in their last 10; the Boston Celtics have lost two straight; the once-surging Milwaukee Bucks had lost five straight before a win Monday night. The Houston Rockets were the hottest team in the NBA a month ago and are 5-5 in their last 10 since.

But the Raptors’ woes always seem to be felt a little more deeply. It’s the price of passion.

And times do seem tough. Even though Patterson — whose value to the Raptors as the tie that binds is being proven more conclusively in his absence — participated fully in practice on Monday and seems a good bet to return against the Spurs, that offers only a small measure of relief. While Patterson was playing a vigorous game of 3-on-3 after practice, DeMar DeRozan, the NBA’s No. 6 scorer at 27.9 points per game — was limping around having been ruled out for at least the next two games with a sprained right ankle.

But Patterson’s (expected) return and DeRozan’s absence — which it says here will be longer than two games, given the way he was favouring his ankle — makes for an interesting test of what is really ailing the Raptors and what steps may be required to fix it.
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1 hour ago
Delon is All Wright Now | Hashtag Basketball
Delon Wright was healthy enough to be active against the Hornets. The game was a blowout, so I couldn’t think of a better situation for Wright to get some minutes. Casey chose not to use him for whatever reason.

Why was Wright inactive in the next game against the Suns? Bebe returned from injury, but Delon could have easily taken Bruno Caboclo’s spot. Bruno has only gotten garbage time minutes this season anyways.

The Raptors need to figure out what they have in Delon Wright. That doesn’t mean they need to play him 15 or 20 minutes a night, but five minutes a night is reasonable. Coming into the NBA last year, Delon strengths were supposed to be playmaking and defending. His weakness was expected to be shooting. However, Delon shot 45% from the field and 38.5% from three last year. It was a very limited sample, but never the less that’s pretty good for a rookie point guard. He has yet to show he is a good passer or defender in the NBA, but shouldn’t the Raptors give him a few minutes here and there to find that out?
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1 hour ago
Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs at Toronto Raptors - Pounding The Rock
The Raptors don’t have the benefit of two former MVPs, nor do they have the ability to lean on a pick-and-roll maestro like James Harden to generate their entire offense. Instead, the Raptors have the next best thing — two potent All-Stars in DeMar DeRozan (who will miss Tuesday’s game with an ankle injury) and Kyle Lowry. When those two share the floor, Toronto is beating its opponents by 8.3 points per 100 possessions, a clip good enough to put them third in the league.

The Raptors will miss DeRozan tonight, but the numbers show they’re fine as long as they’ve got their other leader on the floor.

Perhaps one of the most underrated point guards in the league, Lowry has once again put together another impressive first half of the season, averaging 22.1 points, 7.0 assists and 4.8 rebounds. He’s the backbone of this Raptors offense, even if his usage rate doesn’t reflect that notion. Without Lowry on the court, Toronto’s offense plummets to 104.1 points per 100 possessions — Chicago Bulls territory. That amounts to a 11-point gap when Lowry steps on the floor, whereas the Raptors offense has actually been better when DeRozan hits the bench. Quite simply, Lowry’s game is more pliable and works with different teammates and lineup constructions.
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10 hours ago
Raptors' DeRozan to sit with bum ankle | Toronto Sun
Head coach Dwane Casey preached calmness in the wake of the injury, urging the masses not to get carried away by the losing streak, or the DeRozan injury.

“Next guy up. Everybody’s in panic mode right now. It’s not time to panic,” Casey said. “We’re going through a tough time. Every team goes through this time every year. Again, it’s how you come out of it. We’re a little discombobulated with injuries. That’s no excuse. We put ourselves in a position to win the game last night and didn’t come through with it. Our rhythm is off offensively. Shots that guys were making, same shots they were making earlier, they’re missing now. It’s about the rhythm,” he said.

In the past, Casey has preferred to keep his rotations as consistent as possible, which would indicate Terrence Ross would remain the first swingman off of the bench, but there is a chance he could be inserted into the starting lineup. More likely, Norman Powell gets the nod. Both Ross and Powell have been off recently, like most of their teammates.

“When anybody goes down, that’s why you have a 15-man roster — the next guy’s gotta be ready to play, understand what his job is, do his job, do his role, not try to do too much, what his role calls for, and contribute to us winning,” Casey said.
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10 hours ago
Patrick Patterson's absence felt by Raptors in loss to Suns - Sportsnet.ca
The Raptors have now lost three straight for the first time since November 2015—the second-longest streak without such a skid in the NBA. It will likely ramp up the growing concerns about which direction the club is heading at the midway point of the season.

The short-term argument is that the Raptors desperately need Patrick Patterson to return–they have been allowing 3.7 more points per 100 possessions since he got hurt.

The bigger question is, why are they so vulnerable to an injury from one role-playing power forward?

“[It’s] the little things you don’t see,” said Casey of Patterson’s missing contributions. “One is the spacing he gives you, automatically by walking on the floor. His intellect is missed. His talking to other players on the floor. He’s a valuable piece to what we do, no question.”
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10 hours ago
The Weekly Rap, Jan. 23rd-29th: This is the Very Best Take - Raptors HQ
With the recent play of both teams you’d expect the Spurs big here, but the Raps have had surprising success at home against San Antonio the past few seasons (shout out James Johnson) so I’m gonna say the Raps get out of their funk for a night and protect home court.
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10 hours ago
DeRozan expected to miss the next two games - Raptors HQ
This was supposed to be a fantastic time for the Raptors. Jared Sullinger was set to return, Delon Wright would wind his way back through the D-League, the schedule was to get easier, and everyone was beginning to round into form.

Instead, DeRozan has to take a seat for a couple of games. We have to worry (again) about the condition of Lowry as the season progresses. And the ups and downs of the season in general are taking their emotional toll. As it stands the Raptors are now 28-16, good for second place in the East and 1.5 games up on the Celtics. Just try to tell yourself that is OK, for now.

And hey, Patrick Patterson practiced today, so that means he may soon be back, thank god.
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10 hours ago
Home Court: How should Raptors handle Lowry’s minutes? - Video - TSN
Home Court guest host Kayla Grey & co-hosts Duane Watson and Josh Lewenberg are joined by TSN NBA Analyst Leo Rautins to discuss Kyle Lowry’s recent struggles and whether or not too much rest is playing a factor in his rust.
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10 hours ago
The Reporters: Have the Raptors reached their limit? - Video - TSN
It has been a while since the Raptors have faced adversity but they seem to be in a tough spot, having lost three in a row and dealing with a banged-up DeMar DeRozan. The Reporters gauge the level of panic within the team and wonder whether or not they can reach the next level.
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10 hours ago
DeRozan out two games with ankle sprain - Video - TSN
The Raptors announced on Monday that DeMar DeRozan will miss games this week with the Spurs and Grizzlies with a right ankle sprain. He will be reevaluated prior to a Friday night visit by the Milwaukee Bucks to the Air Canada Centre.
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10 hours ago
Raptors looking to stop their skid without leading scorer DeRozan on the court - The Globe and Mail
“When it rains, it pours sometimes,” DeRozan said with a sigh. “You just got to figure that part out.”

It is kind of an amusing situation the Raptors find themselves in – a steady season suddenly veering off the rails.

True, the team has played better – much better.

But with a record of 28-16, they are still three games off the pace being set by the NBA champion Cavaliers in the East at the start of play on Monday.

“Next guy up,” Toronto coach Dwane Casey proclaimed on Monday, a reference to DeRozan being sidelined. Stay the course.

“Everybody’s in panic mode right now,” Casey continued. “Now is not the time to panic. We’re going through a tough time every team goes through this time every year. And again, it’s how you come out of it. We’re a little discombobulated with injuries, but that’s no excuse. We put ourselves in the position to win the game [Sunday night] and didn’t come through with it. Our rhythm is off offensively. Shots that guys were making – same shots they were making earlier [in the season] – we’re missing now.”

And now DeRozan, their all-star and leading scorer, who has been averaging 27.9 points a game, is on the shelf – at least for Tuesday’s home encounter against the always formidable San Antonio Spurs and again for Wednesday’s game in Memphis against the Grizzlies.
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10 hours ago
Nylon Calculus: Kyle Lowry has been better than Kyrie Irving and DeMar DeRozan - Nylon Calculus
Lowry plays on the same team as DeRozan and the same position as Irving, which makes the three of them fairly easy to compare. Let’s add a fourth member to our analysis group, Irving’s teammate and co-All-Star starter LeBron James, and take a look at how the four of them have matched up with one another this season.

Said simply, Lowry is the engine of the Raptors offense in a similar way to how LeBron is the engine of the Cavaliers. Both essentially run the show, running the team as the floor general and creating high-efficiency offense for themselves and good looks for their teammates. Irving and DeRozan, on the other hand, are more finishers and less distributors than their teammates in this comp. A plot of the true shooting percentage and assists per 100 possessions for all four players bears this out.
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4 days ago
Dinos & Digits: DeMar DeRozan, All-Star Starter - Raptors HQ
DeMar DeRozan leads the Association in third quarter points per game with 10.0 and ranks fourth in first quarter points per game with 8.4.
Meanwhile, Kyle Lowry ranks 3rd in fourth quarter points per contest with 7.8, and 8th in second quarter points with 6.0.

The Raptors’ All-Stars essentially trade the scoring load back and forth each quarter.
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4 days ago
There Were Two Egregious Snubs On The NBA All-Star Starters Roster - Uproxx
Choosing DeRozan over Lowry is certainly less outrageous, but it’s still a case of poor judgement. In the same breath, Lowry should probably earn the No. 1 overall spot among Eastern Conference guards (Kyrie Irving topped fan voting to grab the other spot that probably should have gone to Boston’s Isaiah Thomas) for his outstanding play. The Raptors are incredible even when Lowry plays with full bench lineups, while Toronto’s overall effectiveness wanes considerably when he leaves the floor and DeRozan takes the mantle as the central figure.

DeRozan is averaging a robust 28.2 points per game for the season, but much of that number can be attribute to an early-season barrage that likely aided in his selection. Since then, Lowry (who happens to own nearly a 10-point advantage in true shooting) has simply been the better player on both ends of the floor.
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4 days ago
Identifying the Ideal 2017 NBA Trade Deadline Target for Each Team - Bleacher Report
Ross may be a lackluster defender and won't ever take over a game, but his athleticism and inside-out offensive ability would ease the burden Russell Westbrook is shouldering on a nightly basis. Imagine, if you will, Westbrook running the floor in transition and kicking the ball out to a knockdown shooter such as Ross instead of Andre Roberson.

If that doesn't sell you, nothing will.
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4 days ago
Raptors' DeMar DeRozan honoured to be NBA All-Star starter | Toronto Sun
The process changed a little this year. Instead of the fans voting in the starters entirely, the selection process was weighted with 50% of the vote going to the public, 25% to the players and 25% to select media members.

DeRozan and Boston's Isaiah Thomas actually wound up tied in the voting but the fan vote, in which DeRozan finished ahead of Thomas, got him the nod.

So take a bow Raptors nation. You did your job. And know that DeRozan is very appreciative.

“That’s real special,” DeRozan said. “Just to see the push ... I remember the last couple of days I was watching on Twitter and just to see hockey guys, all the support from the Prime Minister, different ways of voting, strategies from the fans in Canada and the fans all over ... it was awesome.”
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4 days ago
DeRozan's All-Star starter status another landmark in dream season - Sportsnet.ca
By now we know about DeRozan's torrid start to 2016-17, dropping at least 32 points in ten of the Raps' first 12 games and posting scoring numbers unseen since Michael Jordan's early days. He's only continued from there, named the conference player of the week three times and currently sitting fifth in the NBA in points per game at a career-best 28.2 (previous best: last season's 23.5 ppg).

And while many Raptors fans would have liked to have seen Lowry, undeniably the Raptors' engine, join his teammate in the East starting five (or even supplant him), as I outlined earlier Thursday the fact is DeRozan has been the most consistent performer on a team poised for another deep playoff run.

None of these things, of course, would have guaranteed being named an all-star starter. After all, DeRozan, it seems, has always been appreciated more by his peers than by the press and public. The most famous example, of course, might be when Sports Illustrated ranked him as the NBA's 46th best player heading into this season (behind the likes of Nic Batum and Khris Middleton). Even Raptor fans, just a scant six months ago, were decisively split as to whether or not they wanted the club to re-sign him to a max-money contract in the first place. Needless to say, DeRozan's name doesn't come up on the list of top-selling jerseys, either.
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4 days ago
Raptors' DeRozan cracks NBA all-star starting lineup | Toronto Star
“I always try to figure out what else can happen, from being an all-star to being a multiple all-star to winning a gold medal to making it to a conference final, just so many things,” DeRozan told reporters in Charlotte, where the Raptors will play the Hornets on Friday. “This is definitely something new that I am definitely appreciative of. I appreciate the fans, the player votes, the coaches and media and everyone who had a part in this. I honestly haven’t even slowed down to think about it.”

DeRozan finished in a tie with Boston’s Isaiah Thomas for the second Eastern back-court position, but won out because he led in fan voting. It will be the 27-year-old’s third all-star appearance and second start in a row.

“It feels great. To just be voted is definitely a great honour. The last couple of years, I got to see my teammate Kyle (Lowry) get voted in and the excitement I had for him to be voted in was great. Now, for me to be voted in is awesome.”
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4 days ago
Toronto Raptors at Charlotte Hornets: Friday NBA preview | Toronto Star
KEY MATCHUP

DeRozan vs. Kidd-Gilchrist

The Raptors’ leading scorer had an off-night in Philadelphia for the most part and will be looking to get back on track against a top-level defender.
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4 days ago
DeRozan Named to NBA All-Star Game as a Starter - Raptors HQ
The announcement marks the third time DeRozan has played in the exhibition contest, having been there in 2014 and 2016.
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4 days ago
DeRozan Named Starter For All-Star Game | Toronto Raptors
DeRozan will make his fifth appearance at NBA All-Star Weekend. He was named as a reserve for the All-Star Game in 2014 and 2016. He also participated in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge in 2014, the Sprite Slam Dunk in 2010 and 2011 and played in the 2011 T-Mobile Rookie Challenge.

DeRozan is averaging career highs in points (28.2), rebounds (5.4) and steals (1.24) through 42 games. He ranks second in the Eastern Conference and fifth in the NBA in scoring. DeRozan has scored 30-or-more points 20 times, including a season-high 41 points January 10 versus Boston. He became the first player to start a season with five consecutive 30-point games since Michael Jordan in 1986.

DeRozan has been selected as Eastern Conference Player of the Week three times this season (November 7-13, December 12-18 and January 9-15). He is the first player in team history to earn the honour three times in the same season.
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4 days ago
Kyle Lowry should be starting for East in NBA All-Star Game - USA Today
Among guards in the East, he has the best true-shooting percentage (64.2%), which measures percentage of made foul shots, field goal shots and three-point shots. He’s also No. 1 in estimated field goal percentage (58.9%), which gives extra weight to made three-pointers.

He’s the player who keeps having a career season following a career season.

The Raptors, who are in second place and two games behind Cleveland in the East, have the second-best offense in the league, scoring 113.3 points per 100 possessions – just behind Golden State’s 113.4 – and Lowry makes the machine churn out the points.

When Lowry is the court, the Raptors score 116.2 points per 100 possessions, and in the limited time he’s on the bench, the Raptors score 104.9 points per 100 possessions, according to nba.com/stats

Take a look at the on/off court efficiency numbers for DeRozan, who is a deserving All-Star but maybe not as a starter despite averaging 28.2 points. Toronto scores 112 points per 100 possessions when he’s playing and 117 points per 100 possessions when he’s on the bench.
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4 days ago
Buy, sell or stand pat: What each team should do before the NBA trade deadline - CBSSports.com
BUY. Look, you're probably going to lose to the Cavaliers no matter what. They have LeBron James, and that card trumps everything you bring to the table. But you want to give yourself the best chance, just in case he sprains an ankle, or suffers dehydration and cramps up, or just has a really bad series. It's happened before. You don't want to say "LeBron didn't even play well but we couldn't get past Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love because we didn't have (X)." This team is good enough to meet expectations already. They can reach the ECF anyway. But if they want to make sure they have the best opportunity to take advantage if the Cavs do slip, they need to make a deal and move guys like Terrence Ross and Norman Powell for a veteran boost. It's OK if they don't, planning for a future without peak Kyle Lowry is going to be important, but if they want to try and shoot the gap now, they have to make a deal. -- Matt Moore
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4 days ago
Free Association: Should Raptors backcourt be all-star starters? - Sportsnet.ca
To end the show the guys discuss who they'd vote for as NBA all-star starters and make the case why Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan both deserve to start (44:00).
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5 days ago
Toronto Raptors: Handing Out Midseason Grades For The Team - Hoops Habit
Norman Powell is a victim of circumstance. While Powell had the ability to be an X-factor for the Raptors, the team’s depth has limited his opportunity. Beyond backing up an All-Star in DeMar DeRozan, Powell also has to fight for minutes with the emerging Terrence Ross.

Last season Powell made his mark on the team filling in for DeMarre Carroll. Without a Carroll injury, Powell has been forced to stay in a smaller role. His 14.4 minutes to game is comparable to the 14.8 last season.

However, he hasn’t been able to make a big enough impression to warrant more minutes.

Ultimately I’d like to see more playmaking from Powell. He takes good care of the ball, but rarely creates opportunities for others. He presents Toronto with a solid three-and-D option off the bench.
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5 days ago
The NBA's 30 Best Contracts | SI.com
Norman Powell, Raptors: Two years (last year non-guaranteed), $2.4 million

Powell can never seem to hold down a steady gig in Toronto’s rotation, but that speaks more to the glut of capable wings than any particular deficiency on Powell’s part. Two years in and Powell is nothing if not dependable; nothing in his game really jumps out, but to be a competent shooter, confident with the ball, and committed to his defensive assignments goes a long way at this price point. 
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5 days ago
Hosting D-League Showcase another example of Raptors’ striving for respectability – The Athletic
“I think it pays off in that people see what kind of first-class organization (Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment) and the Raptors are. It kind of pays dividends around the road. How that (will happen), nobody really knows. I know the all-star event, as players and people come downtown, you get to see what Toronto as a city is like. It goes a long way. The same thing with all these D-League players. They see what Mississauga is like, what the GTA is like, it draws attention to this area. It builds us as a commodity.”

While there are some legitimate community-building purposes for hosting the event, to be perfectly honest — albeit cynical – this is about branding. It is similar to how, in the wake of buying the Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban made sure his team became known for having a state-of-the-art locker room and many coaches devoted to player development. If you are not one of the league’s tentpole teams with a rich history of winning — and sometimes that does not even matter — you have to force your way into the conversation. (This year notwithstanding, that philosophy has worked for the Mavericks, even as Cuban and MLSE project completely different images as owners.)

Basically, the Raptors want to be known — to players who will become free agents, to the agents of those players, to everybody around the NBA — as an organization who does things correctly and enthusiastically. They, like many, many other teams, want to be a reasonable facsimile of the San Antonio Spurs. Now, there is a healthy argument to be made that the Spurs’ secret sauce is not owning and operating the Austin Spurs, but the five championships that Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich helped produce. In fact, that is the only argument to be made.
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5 days ago
10 observations: Jared Sullinger’s return in Raptors’ loss to 76ers promising, but more injuries are worrisome – The Athletic
Sullinger possesses a natural intelligence on the offensive end — particularly in the paint — that is often lacking for the Raptors. His first bucket came as he motioned to set a screen for DeMarre Carroll late in the shot clock, but instead darted for the rim, and put the ball in off of the equally deft feed from Carroll. His third basket was another example of that feel, as he slid into a soft spot inside the 76ers’ defence, receiving a pass from DeMar DeRozan and putting it home.

He missed his only two 3-point attempts, a product of not being a very good shooter from that distance and his tired legs, undoubtedly. His ability to understand how to create, and occasionally occupy, empty spaces with the skills he does possess should help an extremely efficient offence, Wednesday notwithstanding, get even more dangerous. That will especially be the case as he gains familiarity with his teammates. For example, Kyle Lowry will learn he cannot throw lobs to him under the rim like he can to Valanciunas or Lucas Nogueira.

The only problem, beyond the loss? The Raptors might need Sullinger to get up to speed awfully quickly. Things are getting scarily thin in the frontcourt. Here are nine more observations from the Raptors’ loss in Philadelphia.
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5 days ago
10 things I saw from Raptors-76ers (18–1–2017) – The Defeated
It worked against the shitty Nets, but DeMar DeRozan only showing up for the second half was not enough against the suddenly difficult 76ers. DeRozan put on the Superman cape for the fourth quarter by drilling pull-up shots, slashing to the hoop, and even taking some timely charges. But he was atrocious in the first half and both he and the Raptors couldn’t make up for lost time.
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5 days ago
Sixers knock off Raptors for seventh win in nine games - Philly.com
"Down the stretch, Joel was a special feature in that game," Nerlens Noel said. "He came in and dominated when it was definitely needed."

Ersan Ilyasova (18 points), T.J. McConnell (10), and Robert Covington (10) were the Sixers' other double-digit scorers.

Embiid, Covington, and McConnell all made big plays down the stretch.

Embiid hit a pair of foul shots to knot the score at 86 with 1 minute, 42 seconds left. McConnell gave the Sixers a two-point lead with a layup on the next possession.

McConnell added a pair of foul shots to give the Sixers a 90-86 advantage with 35.2 seconds remaining. Following a Raptors timeout, Covington blocked Kyle Lowry's three-point attempt with 30.1. The Raptors point guard grabbed the rebound before driving the lane. But the former Villanova and Cardinal Dougherty standout's layup was blocked by Embiid with 22.9 seconds left.
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5 days ago
76ers-Raptors Best Worst: Embiid, Carroll and dealing with 22 turnovers - Philly.com
Best performance: This was a tough one, just because DeMar DeRozan had a stellar effort in the fourth quarter.  The only problem is he didn’t lead his team to victory.  Joel Embiid did and that’s why he wins this award.  The Sixers center finished with a game-high 26 points, nine rebounds, two assists, one steal and two blocked shots. His lone negative was his four turnovers. However, Embiid graded out at a plus-20. Twelve of his points came in the fourth quarter. After blocking Kyle Lowry’s shot with 22.9 seconds left, he scored the Sixers final four points from the foul line.
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5 days ago
Raptors score low in surprising loss to 76ers | Toronto Sun
Toronto loss largely because of a very solid effort by the 76ers who are most certainly no longer a team lacking a defensive identity, but also due to a handful of uncharacteristic mental mistakes the kept this comeback from finishing like many of the others, in the win column.

“When you’re grinding it out in a game like this, you can’t shoot yourself in the foot,” Casey said before listing off this mistakes. “Five second call (on an inbound), out of bounds we throw it to them when a guy’s not looking at you, all those mental mistakes are fatigue mistakes, mistakes you can’t have in a game like this when points are at a premium. All that added up at the end of the game.”

But Casey also made the point that the Raptors had opportunities in this one, the kind of opportunities they normally take advantage of, but failed to on this night.

“We missed a lot of wide open shots, they didn’t do anything necessarily, they’re a good team, they’ve been playing well, no disrespect to them but we missed a lot of wide open shots,” Casey said. “(Terrence) Ross had three wide open threes that we missed.”
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5 days ago
D-League event is a Showcase for Stackhouse, too | Toronto Sun
As a blue-chip prospect who would play 18 years in the NBA after leaving North Carolina, Stackhouse never had to experience life in the minor leagues, but he has proven a quick study, impressing Raptors brass after taking over for Jesse Mermuys. Mermuys left his post as 905 head coach prior to the season for an assistant job on Luke Walton’s bench with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Casey was an assistant coach during the end of Stackhouse’s time as a player in Dallas and said he didn’t see a future in coaching coming down the line for the former star.

“Not really. I didn’t know. I wouldn’t think at that time of Jerry being a coach, but he was always an intelligent player, student of the game,” Casey told Postmedia earlier this week.

“It’s a totally different animal than playing, and it’s totally different adjusting to that role, going from a player to a coaching role. He’s done a good job with it and we’re glad he’s with our organization.”
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5 days ago
Raptors Mid-Season Report Card: DeRozan, Lowry are top of the class - Sportsnet.ca
KYLE LOWRY
Grade: A+

While it's unlikely to result in a third-straight starting spot in next month's all-star game, Lowry is enjoying the best season of his career. His numbers are up across the board— scoring 22.1 ppg, dishing out 7.2 assists, and grabbing five rebounds per game. But what's stuck out most is his shooting numbers, which are astronomically higher than ever before— 48 per cent from the field and 44 per cent from beyond the arc. He truly opened eyes with one of the hottest shooting streaks in the NBA this season: Between Nov. 25 and Jan.1 he averaged 4.4 made threes per game- on 8.1 attempts- and shot a ridiclous 54.5% from deep and is a leader on depth

According to basketball-reference, he currently has 7.2 win shares in forty games— that's more than he registered two seasons ago, and he's done it in thirty fewer games. All told, Lowry has been a superstar on both ends of the floor for the Raptors.
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5 days ago
Raptors-Sixers Takeaways: A lost opportunity for Toronto - Sportsnet.ca
The narrative to start the night was the return of Jared Sullinger. It was Sullinger’s first game action since the Raptors’ game versus Golden State in Vancouver to start the pre-season. Sullinger missed the first half of the season after having surgery on the fifth metatarsal on his left foot, which at the time was announced as a preventative measure. He was on a 10-15 minute restriction Wednesday because of his long layoff. Raptors head coach Dwane Casey had hoped to get his free agent acquisition some time in the D-League before putting him in a live NBA game. However, with the NBA D-League showcase currently going on and the Raptors thin for bigs, the addition of the power forward was badly needed. Patrick Patterson has now missed four games with a knee injury. Lucas Nogueira missed the game due to concussion protocol.
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5 days ago
Raptors fall to Sixers in Sullinger’s return | Toronto Star
“Honestly, tonight welost that game,” Kyle Lowry said after the Raptors shot 40 per cent from the floor while missing 18 of 24 three-pointers and eight of 23 free throws. “I give them credit — they played hard, with passion — but we lost that game.”

Limited to short stretches as he returns from October surgery to implant a screw in his left foot, Sullinger provided eight points and three rebounds during his first game since the pre-season, but his arrival means much more than that.

He is a four-year veteran who knows how to play, and showed flashes in his first-half run. He set a handful of hard, effective screens, carved out space in the low post with a body that’s made for banging, and gave a quick glimpse of what might be still to come.

“I was able to keep up with the game,” Sullinger said. “I didn’t think I was going to be able to keep up, especially how hard and how fast the Sixers play, but I was able to keep up with the game.”
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5 days ago
Scorching Sixers Top Toronto - Liberty Ballers
Holy hell, Joel Embiid. A +20 in 26 minutes of a five-point win, Embiid yet again proved to be an offensive focal point the team could lean on in tight times. He continues to get to the line at an astounding rate (league-leading 10.9 free throw attempts per 36 minutes, 14 tonight) and convert at an elite level for his size, up to about 79 percent on the season. But the offense is really the luxury. In my preview today, I called DeMar Derozan one of the toughest tests for Embiid yet, and he was certainly up to the challenge. Robert Covington did an excellent job on him one-on-one, especially in the first half, but it’s hard to stay in front of one of the league’s most slippery, dynamic scorers when you don’t have the confidence that the big guy behind you has you covered. And he sure did, walling off the basket as always, bothering drivers and sticking guards on switches. My goodness, the switches. Kyle Lowry is 6-feet flat!
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5 days ago
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