Raptors Short Term Future Is Suddenly Very Cloudy

The Toronto Raptors are in some serious trouble DeMar DeRozan has an injured foot and there has not been a timetable given for a return. He did not travel with the team to Brooklyn for a very important match-up with Nets. Patrick Patterson also broke his nose in that game but is with the team and expected to play tonight likely with a mask. Add this to the Tyler Hansbrough injury that was first said to be an ankle turn and now has been revealed to be a bone bruise.

Raptors fans were all excited by Terrence Ross and his performance in a loss to Clippers. Ross the next game after DeRozan had a career high 40 in a win tied the Raptors all-time scoring record with 51 points tying Vince Carter. It masked the injuries the Raptors suffered and their terrible defence overall surrendering 126 points to the Clippers.

One of the things up until this point is the Raptors have avoided any significant injures something that teams the Raptors are battling in the East have not had to endure. Chicago lost Derrick Rose, Atlanta Al Horford and the Nets Deron Williams to name just three teams that have lost major players.

This may test the Raptors ability to hang in the Eastern Conference depending on how long the Raptors will be without DeRozan. Ross may have had a night to be remembered but it is more about the consistency of performance. Charlie V once scored 48 points against the Bucks which is still the Raptors rookie record to this day. Brandon Jennings also scored 55 points in his rookie year and has praised as the next big star.

DeRozan has learned how to endure to be the guy down the stretch of games. Not to take away from what Ross did but when the game was on the line his performance did drop off. The Raptors never would have been in that game without him though it has to be said.

The Raptors are really in a spot where they could fall off and than be in the position that most who wanted this team to play for the draft had feared. That would be battling in the bottom half of the Eastern Conference playoff standings. Not exactly a place they want to be.

It also opens up the door for what the Raptors should do in regards to Kyle Lowry. The trade deadline is about a month away and where the Raptors sit in the standings at that point will be interesting to see. They looked to have turned the corner and been all in as far as this season goes. The idea of tanking is clearly dead but what to do about Kyle Lowry may not be dead.

In any case the Raptors are in tough tonight in Brooklyn and with a loss their lead in the Atlantic Division could fall to just a half a game. It is a safe bet the Nets will be looking to improve at the deadline regardless of what the Raptors choose to do or not do. The Nets are in a tough spot to make deals happen but they will be working hard to make something happen.

Obviously DeRozan and how long he is actually going to be out of the line-up will have a major impact on things. Even some of the Raptors depth has been compromised with Landry Fields recently having wrist surgery for second time inside of a year. Whatever you think of Terrence Ross he is not ready to be a number one or two options for this team even in a short term.

Raptors have some serious issues and they are really facing the most adversity they have since right before the Rudy Gay trade went down.

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