Toronto Raptors: 6 Revelations from Game 4 loss to Wizards

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 22: DeMar DeRozan /
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Toronto Raptors
WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 22: DeMar DeRozan /

The Toronto Raptors self-destruct in frustratingly familiar ways to the Washington Wizards in a eight-point loss, tying their series at 2-2.

My confidence in the Toronto Raptors has been a roller coaster this year. Before the season I predicted them to only win 41 games. Then throughout the season I thought they’d be a 60-win team all the way till the very last game.

At the start of the playoffs I thought it’d be a 5-game series and now here we are tied up at 2-2; who knows what’ll happen in the series next? All I know is the Wizards came to fight for it.

Welcome to the fourth playoff edition of Raptors Revelations. We’re doing 6, because, you know, Toronto… Drake… Raptors… It’s gonna be fun so strap in.

These are the sobering, snarky or dare I say, smart thoughts that stick with me when I watch Raptors games. These are the revelations.

1. Injury Woes

Up until today, the Toronto Raptors were a relatively healthy team. OG Anunoby spent a few games on the pine with an ankle sprain in the middle of February, but that’s it. The Raps ran a full squad the entire season.

So, that day-to-day shoulder injury that everyone made seem like it was a small deal, is actually a huge deal. Remember this play in Game 82 of the regular season against the Heat?

Didn’t look that bad right? I mean it was bad, but it wasn’t that bad. Well, Fred VanVleet suffered a ac joint sprain on that play. Or in layman’s terms, VanVleet separated his shoulder. All that coverage about him being day-to-day with a shoulder bruise and coming back any time, was pretty much a smoke screen.

separated shoulders (depending on the grade) take a minimum two weeks to come back from and a brutal six weeks if the injury is heinous. Luckily, VanVleet’s looks to be a grade 1 or grade two, which means a return time on the lighter end of the spectrum, although we’re in day 12 of a minimum 14-day injury.

If Steady Freddy can come back and save a bench mob that’s been shellacked through the past three games, he’d be the saving grace of the series.

Anunoby also rolled an ankle during the game and had to exit midway through the second quarter. He did come back to start the second half and play his regular minutes, but ankle injuries are a fickle beast. One day you’re hitting 3’s from the corner; the next, you’re contemplating sawing off your leg to relieve the pain.

The fate of Anunoby’s ankle injury will truly be known over the next couple days. If he has to sit, it’ll be a massive blow to a Raptors roster that looks increasingly flimsier on the court than paper.

Although Anunoby’s a rookie, he’s been reliable from deep and is an ardent defender with dreamlike switchability. The Dinos are built as a sum more than its parts, but the parts are breaking down.