Toronto Raptors: Whose stock is rising, Norman Powell states his case

Toronto Raptors - Norman Powell (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Norman Powell (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors – Kawhi Leonard (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

Heading into the final stages of the season, the Toronto Raptors are beginning to look towards the postseason following a 1-2 week. How did everyone fare individually, though?

There is no such thing as a meaningless game in the NBA, even in an 82 game season. With that being said, the Toronto Raptors don’t have a whole lot to play for between now and April 9; the date of their final regular season game.

Between now and then, the Raptors are scheduled to play four teams in the Eastern Conference who all have ambitions to make the playoffs. So, as always, there’s no such thing as a meaningless game. There’s always something on the line.

For the Raptors, it’s a chance to rest starters before the postseason and also an opportunity to fiddle with line-ups and see if anything can stand out. We know there are at least seven viable players in the Raptors rotation, with a possibility of stretching to nine, with the likely inclusion of OG Anunoby and Norman Powell. But what about Jeremy Lin?

There’s a lot to be answered for in the next six games, even without the chance to play for the number one seed. The Milwaukee Bucks sit four games ahead of the Raptors, and have all but sealed the first seed for the first time since the 1973-74 season, when they were a part of the Western Conference. So congrats to them on the impending success.

But, this is about the Toronto Raptors and their performances in the past week. Proceedings began in an unsavory matter, with the Raptors dropping a home game against an Oklahoma City Thunder team looking to bounce back from a loss to the Raptors two days earlier.

Following that, we saw one of the most incredible finishes in NBA history. Unfortunately for the Raptors, their part in this story is not as a beneficiary. At home to the Charlotte Hornets and leading by two with 3.1 seconds left, the ball was inbounded to Jeremy Lamb, and after almost losing control of the ball, he heaved a 48-foot shot up into the rafters and banked it in for the victory.

Infuriating? Yes. But you just can’t find a way to get annoyed at a once in a lifetime shot, you just have to marvel in it.

The week was rounded off against a team with two eyes on the future, the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls kept it close but the game was never really in doubt, nor should it have been. The Raptors were looking to bounce back and were able to rest their starters in large stretches while still having a comfortable grip on the game. Everybody (except the Bulls) wins, right?

Right, sort of. OG Anunoby suffered a nasty collision at the rim and was escorted off the court looking dazed and confused. He passed concussion protocol but it’s safe to be safe in these circumstances.

Everything in this article has been written prior to Thursday night’s game against the New York Knicks. So if anything looks out of touch: I’m sorry, but it’s definitely your fault.

With that being said, everything here is pretty much a lock or so it seems. Unless Jeremy Lin scores a career-high, that is…