If you are a true Raptors fan, then I’m sure you have these last three games circled on your calendar… but I totally wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t.
At this point in the season it would take a lot for the Raptors to move their position in the draft… barring some serious shake ups in the standings, the Toronto Raptors have all but locked up the seventh best odds in this year’s draft making the final three games against the Bulls, Mavericks and Pacers irrelevant.
But at least this is a good chance for the team to give some big minutes to guys they hope can make an impact next year, and knowing the Raptors – they’ll probably end the year on a meaningless three game winning streak.
Thursday May 13th: @ Chicago Bulls (8:00 PM EST, TSN)
Theoretically, the Chicago Bulls can still make the play-in tournament. Currently in the 11th spot in the East, Chicago is two games ahead of Toronto and three games behind the Wizards. The Bulls would have to win out the rest of the season and hope Washington ends their year on a three-game losing skid. Not an ideal scenario but there still is a chance for them.
So basically this game is between a team that still cares and a team that doesn’t really at all.
The Raptors haven’t had a chance to play spoiler in a while so this could be fun. The last time they played the Bulls, Chris Boucher had a career high in points and rebounds so keep your eye out for another breakout game from him and ultimately just keep your eye on the Raptors young players.
They should be getting a lot of minutes, and with no real stakes to the game they should be playing a lot more comfortably.
Prediction: The Raptors play spoiler and end the season for Chicago, Raps 1-0.
Friday May 14th: @ Dallas Mavericks (9:00 PM EST, TSN)
I always enjoy watching Luka Doncic play, so I probably won’t enjoy watching the game on Friday considering the Serbian star will most likely not be dressing for the playoff-bound Dallas Mavericks.
Although that is just speculation, it would make sense for Dallas to shut down Doncic until the playoffs; Luka is only one more technical foul away from a suspension after being ejected in their game against the Cavaliers. Do Rick Carlisle and the Mavericks want to risk their star player getting suspended for the first game of round one? Probably not.
This should be a competitive one despite what I literally just said. Even though the Mavs have their playoffs essentially locked up, their position is not. A loss could mean them going from playing the Denver Nuggets in the first round to a date with Kawhi Leonard and the LA Clippers real quick.
This game will be determined by who the Mavericks decide to dress – and ultimately the Raptors as well.
Keep your eye out for Luka Doncic if he does in fact play, it will be interesting to see how the potential suspension affects his game.
Prediction: Raptors future beat the Mavericks now, Raps extend winning streak to two.
Sunday May 16th: vs. Indiana Pacers (12:00 PM EST, TSN)
So if the Raptors had actually won a few games, this would have been a doozy of a season finale.
The Pacers are in the ninth spot, sitting comfortably in the play-in tournament. BUT, if the Raptors were just a little bit better, this game could have been a decision maker… and that would have been really really fun to watch.
Obviously that is not the case.
It’s the last game of the horrendous regular season for the Toronto Raptors and I think at this point, the team and it’s fans are just ready for this to be over.
A lot could change in five days so the Indiana Pacers could very well have their playoff birth locked-in by Sunday… and if they do this game will be the most boring game in the history of basketball as two teams compete for literally nothing.
So I guess you better hope Indiana is playing for something on the 16th, so at least the Raptors can play spoiler one last time.
Prediction: Raptors fans are gifted a three-game winning streak to end the season from hell.