Title:Raptors may not be watching the East standings just yet. But we can
Date: January 16, 2019
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about a key stretch ahead for the Raptors where several Eastern Conference tiebreakers will be determined.
BOSTON – The Raptors had just beaten the Brooklyn Nets with relatively little fanfare. There was a late-fourth quarter non-scare when a Chris Boucher bench unit surrendered a 14-0 run, but for the most part, the Raptors had taken care of business. At the end of his postgame media availability, head coach Nick Nurse remarked how it was a good night for the Raptors all around.
The implication was that some of the teams around them in the Eastern Conference had lost that night as well. While the Indiana Pacers had won, the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers had both lost, giving the Raptors an extra game of cushion over those two. Coming out of an 8-8 stretch through injury absences that made December feel like a bit of a slog, the Raptors were starting to string together wins when the top of the East was beginning to tighten. Nurse’s comment was off the cuff and casual. It also served as a green light of sorts for the portion of the season where a cursory morning glance at the standings page becomes worthwhile.
In some estimations, anyway. Because of Nurse’s comment, I asked Kyle Lowry at practice Tuesday whether it’s late enough in the year for the Raptors to be concerned with such things.