The Toronto Raptors finally put an end to their season with a 125-113 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Sunday.
Down the stretch, instead of seeing the underdog fighting spirit we are accustom to with this team, we saw a team that knew they had a better chance in the draft lottery then making a playoff push. In a year where a play-in tournament meant 10 teams in each conference had a chance to make the playoffs, the Raptors finished 12th in the East.
It is hard to say that the Raptors record is surprising this year, especially once Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol left for Los Angeles, leaving the Raptors with no solid big man.
But even after losing Ibaka and Gasol, fans thought the least the team could do was fight for a playoff spot and give themselves a chance in the play-in tournament. Unfortunately, they completely faltered at the end, now giving them the 7th best odds in the draft lottery and a 32% chance of landing inside the top-four.
Injuries and bad play led to one of the most disappointing ends to a season in recent time for Toronto. The Raptors went into the final game of the season losing their last nine of ten, with their last win coming two weeks ago against the Los Angeles Lakers on May 2nd.
On the bright side, with Kyle Lowry resting and injuries from Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam, and OG Anunoby, many of the young guys have been given big minutes to close out the season. Stanley Johnson, Malachi Flynn, Jalen Harris, and Freddie Gillespie have all played major minutes in the last few games, each trying to prove they deserve a spot in the lineup next year.
Playing without most of their starters and stars for Sunday’s season finale, the young talent for the Raptors did their best to guide the team through their most difficult season.
What were your thoughts on the end of the Toronto Raptors season? What are you looking forward to next for the team? Let us know in the comments below.