Decisions Looming

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Toronto Raptors Slide Continues as They Come Up Short Against the Jazz

If there is ever a time to go on a rough losing streak, I guess you can say this is it.

With the NBA’s trade deadline less than a week away, it seems abundantly clear in which direction this year’s Toronto Raptors team is heading.

Health, consistency, and secondary depth has been in question all season long and at this point, it appears as though a decision will have to be made. The Raptors do not appear to be a piece, or even two pieces away and with tradable assets such as the scorching hot Norman Powell, the Raptors may be ready to make a deal with a long-term outlook. Of course, before they can do that, they must first answer if a core of Norman Powell, Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby, and Fred VanVleet is enough to legitimately compete in the Eastern Conference.

That hasn’t been the case this season, albeit, the Raptors have been thrown plenty of adversity which they could not control.

On Friday night, the Raptors came up just short in a highly contested battle with the top-seeded team in the Western Conference in the Utah Jazz. Unable to overcome Donovan Mitchell’s 31 points and Joe Ingles’ hot shooting night, the Raptors dropped their seventh straight and fell to 17-24 on the season.

If there is one positive the Raptors could take away from last night’s game, it was the return of Anunoby, who has been out of action dealing with COVID-19.

“I think it gives us a bigger lineup,” said Kyle Lowry of Anunoby’s return to the lineup. “OG is a really aggressive defender. Long arms. He’s really talented on the defensive end and gives us an opportunity to switch more. He can guard bigger players and he can disrupt a little bit more … It’s one of those things when he’s back and going, we are a better team.”

If the Raptors are to turn around their season, it has to happen now. With the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers and Houston Rockets next on their schedule, the now healthy Raptors need to get back into the win column desperately.

This could very well be a franchise-altering week for the Raptors.

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