The Raptors lost to the Pacers last night who moved to 6-0 on the season remaining the NBA’s only unbeaten team. The Raptors return home for a rare Saturday home date with the only team that remains winless in the NBA in the Utah Jazz.
The Jazz lost to the Bulls last night and are the front runners to draft Andrew Wiggins number one as he debuted last night for Jayhawks with 16 points and win. The Jazz are a mix of young unproven players and older vets trying to hang on for a couple more seasons. In other words the perfect roster to make a run at the number on pick in the draft. John Lucas III who was with the Raptors last season as the third point guard challenges to start at that position on the Jazz illustrates where the Jazz stand in some respects.
The Raptors have lost 3 in a row entering this one and already saw what happens when you over look someone earlier in the week losing to Bobcats on Wednesday. If that is not motivation enough to get a victory in this one they only need to look to their upcoming schedule. Check out the Raptors next 4 games next week:
Monday: At Houston
Wednesday: At Memphis
Friday: vs. Chicago
Sunday: vs. Portland
It seems tough to see a win for the Raptors in any of those especially the first three games against playoff teams from last season. The simple fact is though that the Raptors have not been able to play a complete game this season. Each loss the Raptors pick-up makes the chances this team will remain looking to play for this season a less likely scenario.
In any case a loss to the Jazz is almost a certainty of an extended losing streak and comparisons to their less than spectacular 4-19 start last season. It also ramps up the pressure on Dwane Casey who is coaching to try and keep his job this season in the last year of his contract. The problem might be getting a team with players in the same position like Kyle Lowry, Rudy Gay and a few others looking for contracts to play together as a team on both ends of the floor.
If he can’t those players to do that Casey could be out and those players could be on the move along with others. Masai Ujiri has a long term deal and the firm control of all basketball decisions for this franchise.
In any case the heat is already on the Raptors to get a win at just 2-4 on the season. It has not been the start the Raptors were hoping for after getting out of the gate 2-1. The main problem is not too many chances like this game against the Jazz exist on their schedule.