The Raptors have finally found a winning formula. It’s called losing
The Toronto Raptors have continued their descent to the National Basketball Association’s basement, falling into a tie for the fourth-worst record in the league with a 100-98 loss—their eighth straight—to the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night. Really, it’s a brilliant strategy for long-term success: with each and every defeat, the Raps improve their draft position and are one step closer to respectability.
Even better, the Raps can tank with dignity. Their campaign this year has been so riddled with players unable to play because of some affliction that head coach Jay Triano has occasionally stooped to using cheat sheets to rhyme off his list of maimed players. On Monday, he told the assembled media horde, “I don’t even know what to classify as health any more.” Not that the Raptors would’ve been any good with their entire roster healthy—but it sure is a great excuse.
The Globe’s Michael Grange writes:
The Raptors strategy to improve their draft position by placing banana peels all over their practice floor and sneezing on each other at every opportunity is working, as the injuries and illnesses keep mounting. This is working out well as Toronto has lost eight straight… but they maintain their dignity because their lineup has been hit so hard by injuries and illness.
Tanking is a well-known and time-honoured tradition in the NBA. In a game where only five players play at a time, snagging one of the top picks in the draft can instantly and significantly improve a team (see: the surging Oklahoma Thunder). Of course, there are no guarantees that the number-one pick will translate to immediate success (see: Bargnani, Andrea).
• Cutler takes a knee; Kulemin a punch and Fantuz a job (maybe)… and more [Globe and Mail]
• Ailing Raptors make a game of it against Grizzlies [Globe and Mail]
• Raptors lose last-second heartbreaker to Grizzlies [Toronto Star]