With the Toronto Raptors in the middle of a condensed stretch that will see them play five games in seven days, the team is playing it safe with DeMar DeRozan.
With the Toronto Raptors skipping shootaround on Friday, there was uncertainty about DeMar DeRozan’s status heading into tonight’s game against the Orlando Magic. Well, thanks to Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun, we now know the Raptors will once again be without DeRozan, courtesy of this Woz Bomb.
Considering the condensed schedule the Raptors are dealing with, playing five games in seven days, the decision to rest DeRozan feels like the right one. It’s cliché to say, but the 82 game NBA schedule is truly a marathon and the last thing the Raptors want is for this ankle injury to bother DeRozan for the entire season.
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Yes, the team has lost 12 of their last 20 games, and seven of their last nine, but what’s the sense in rushing DeRozan back? Toronto is firmly entrenched as a playoff team and they still have enough able bodies to take care of teams like the Magic, although last Sunday’s loss where D.J. Augustin scorched Toronto might say otherwise, but I digress.
While home court advantage is obviously important, a healthy DeRozan is significantly more important. Without DDR in the lineup the Raptors playoff chances take a massive hit. Alright, enough with the hypothetical statements. Bottom line, DeRozan is vital to this team’s long-term success.
DeRozan’s next chance to suit up for the Raptors will be on Sunday when Toronto plays the Nets in Brooklyn. If he sits out that game, which might not be a bad idea, his next opportunity to suit up will be on Monday night when the Raptors welcome the Los Angeles Clippers to the Air Canada Centre.
As for tonight’s game, the Raptors should be able to get back into the win column. The team has had a full day off with no practice — just a walk-through — and you would think they will be highly motivated to avenge last Sunday’s 114-113 home loss to the Magic. Right?