Raptors’ victory, Kyle Lowry’s triple-double overshadowed by injuries to Marc Gasol, Norman Powell

Title: Raptors’ victory, Kyle Lowry’s triple-double overshadowed by injuries to Marc Gasol, Norman Powell
Date: December 18, 2019
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis:  In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about a potentially disastrous Raptors win in Detroit where they may have lost Marc Gasol and Norman Powell.

There aren’t many ways to spin a game that was bookended by a pair of injuries that looked pretty bad in the moment. There are Pyrrhic victories, and then there are games like Wednesday’s against the Detroit Pistons — low on meaning, leverage and degree of difficulty — in which the losses stacked up feel wholly unnecessary in the service of victory. Nick Nurse isn’t Pyrrhus; he’s just a coach at the helm of a pretty unfortunate team so far this year.

It started midway through the first quarter when Marc Gasol pulled up limping in transition. He grabbed for the back of his left leg, did his best to offer some semblance of stationary deterrence in the paint, then immediately asked out of the game. He went to the locker room and did not return, quickly getting ruled out with a left hamstring strain.

The Raptors managed well enough. Serge Ibaka turned in a tremendous effort in a larger role with Gasol on the shelf, scoring 25 points with 13 rebounds and a game-high plus-17 mark. Even against Andre Drummond, ostensibly one of the toughest matchups for a Gasol-less Raptors team, Toronto hung in, doing enough defensively outside of rebounding that the impact of Drummond’s second chances was a frustration rather than its undoing.

Check it out on The Athletic.

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