Will the Toronto Raptors win another game the rest of the season?

Kelly Olynyk, Toronto Raptors
Kelly Olynyk, Toronto Raptors / Mark Blinch/GettyImages

The Brooklyn Nets were 19 games under .500 when they welcomed the Toronto Raptors to town on Monday evening. They were playing without multiple starters and their leading scorer, Cam Thomas. Yet it never seemed in doubt that the Raptors would ultimately walk out of the arena with another loss hung around their necks.

That's the current reality for the Toronto Raptors, who have now lost 11-straight games. Their record is somehow even worse than the Nets at 23-49, 26 games below .500. Their losing streak has inexplicably pushed them down to the sixth-worst record in the league, increasing their odds of keeping the Top-6 protected first-round pick that they owe to the San Antonio Spurs.

The Toronto Raptors keep losing games

The spiral down from title contender to bottom feeder began years ago, but it truly happened in earnest this past offseason. The Raptors let former All-Star guard Fred VanVleet walk in free agency. By the Trade Deadline they had traded OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam. Now their budding young star, Scottie Barnes, is sidelined with a hand fracture, joined in street clothes by Jakob Poelt, Chris Boucher and Immanuel Quickley. RJ Barrett remains out in the aftermath of a family tragedy.

To further launch Toronto fans into despair, this was the easy stretch of the schedule. The Raptors played the Nets, Washington Wizards and Detroit Pistons in the last two weeks and lost to them all. Now they will face the New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Lakers, Minnesota Timberwolves and Milwaukee Bucks over the next 10 days. Of their 10 remaining games, only two are against non-playoff teams (home vs Washington, at Brooklyn).

That reality begs the question: will the Toronto Raptors win another game this season?

The Raptors have a couple of reasonable cracks at getting a win. They host the 76ers on Easter Sunday without Joel Embiid in the lineup; if Quickley and Barrett are back by then, they stand a chance. A week later they host the Washington Wizards, and while they did just lose to the Wizards it was by three points in Washington.

Yet the current version of the Raptors can and has lost to everyone. They lost by nine points to the lowly Detroit Pistons and 41 to the New Orleans Pelicans. They lost by ten to the Orlando Magic, then two days later lost by 15. Teams like the Knicks and Timberwolves are going to wipe the floor with them.

Add on to that reality that the Raptors are not incentivized to win games. They are in a harrowing race to keep their draft pick, and their chances improve substantially if they finish with a worse record than the Memphis Grizzlies. If Toronto were to lose out, they would be assured of holding onto that slot and have a 50/50 chance at keeping their pick.

The team is not going to rush Scottie Barnes back; he is almost certainly out for the year. Fans should expect the same for Jakob Poeltl, although updates on his timeline have been scarce. RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley could be back as soon as Sunday, but the Raptors lost many of the games in this streak with them.

The team still appears to be playing hard, which is both a positive indicator that head coach Darko Rajakovic is still motivating them and a negative that they are giving their all and it's not good enough against anyone.

If the Raptors do lose another 10 games, their losing streak of 21-straight would be the second longest this season. There had already been a record-breaking three losing streaks of at least 17 games this season (Detroit, Washington and San Antonio). The Raptors could easily make it four.

Will the Raptors lose every game remaining on their schedule? Probably not. It is certainly a possibility, however, and that's a painful reality for the handfuls of fans still committed to watching this injury-riddled team.