Raptors Game Thread: Toronto Raptors @ Oklahoma City Thunder

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Rooting for your team to lose game in the name of modestly improved lottery odds — especially in a post-lottery reform world — is stupid and bad and you shouldn’t do it. Toronto’s season is lost, and there’s certainly a level of acceptance for losses that can creep in as you dig into Cade Cunningham highlight videos. But to cross the event horizon into actively hoping for your team to lose and for the players on said team to endure the miserable existence that is a lottery-bound season is just gross. Frankly, it’s small market energy-having, Oklahoma City Thunder ass behaviour.

With that in mind, tonight’s game against the Thunder (and the one they have against them later in April, I guess), is the only time you will receive the Sean Seal of Approval to actively support a Raptors loss. That is because the Thunder are a franchise deserving of having their own tank to the bottom thwarted.

This is a team that pissed away a very good roster that was a fingertip away from the second round in the name of Sam Presti’s creepy draft pick hoarding schtick that should be the subject of a show on TLC. Instead of using an already huge bounty of picks to add to the Chris Paul / Shai Gilgeous-Alexander / Lu Dort core that flashed such promise last year, Presti opted to kick the hypothetical can down the equally hypothetical road, hoping to one day assemble the kind of team that he literally already had on hand.

Now, after their budding superduperstar SGA proved too damn good for the Thunder to properly lose every game possible, they sat down Al Horford, traded George Hill, and presumably opted to slow play Gilgeous-Alexander’s return from a foot injury. They’re trying to lose in the name of Presti’s cowardly vision. And to further drive home how much this franchise sucks, they just this week robbed another young and exciting undrafted player of earning potential by inking Moses Brown to a 4-year, $6.8 million contract loaded with team options. He’ll join Dort on the list of the most team-friendly contracts in the NBA, mostly because the Thunder were predatory enough to dangle an amount of money no undrafted player is in a position to turn down. Brown and Dort’s agents should be fired, and Presti should be smited by the basketball gods for as long as he continues to run his Ponzi scheme of a front office.

Toronto should lose tonight just to inconvenience this Dollarama franchise. It is in fact the morally upstanding thing to do. Read the preview for tonight, and let’s watch.

Where to Watch

TSN 1, 4 & 5 @ 8pm ET

Lineups

Toronto — Fred VanVleet, Gary Trent Jr., OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam, Aron Baynes

Oklahoma City — Theo Maledon, Svi Mykhailiuk, Kenrich Williams, Isaiah Roby, Moses Brown

Injuries

Toronto — Kyle Lowry (toe — OUT), DeAndre Bembry (health and safety protocols – OUT), Paul Watson (health and safety protocols – OUT), Patrick McCaw (knee – OUT), Jalen Harris (hip – OUT)

Oklahoma City — Oklahoma City – Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (foot – OUT), Luguentz Dort (concussion – OUT), Darius Bazley (shoulder – OUT), Mike Muscala (ankle – OUT), Al Horford (Thunder garbage — OUT), Ty Jerome (ankle — OUT), Aleksej Pokusevski (health and safety protocols — OUT)