The Grizzlies and Raptors will be forever linked. Both entered the NBA in 1995, when the league expanded to two Canadian cities, and there was once a time when Toronto’s dominance over their unofficial sister franchise seemed permanent.
But, after Memphis sent Toronto to its sixth straight loss on Wednesday night — and, for good measure, with a score of 103-82 — the Raptors can’t afford to think about their past or their future. They can’t even think about last night, because it’s depressing.
It’s not shocking to see Toronto struggling this year. Their roster is built for the future, but that can mean one week, one year, or five years. It’s hard to nail down and every roster — every player — is different.
Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, and Landry Fields. Toronto has some talent. They’ve got some spirit. And, if they can fill their locker room with studs that actually want to play there, they have a real shot at revitalization.
It’s been a tortured existence for what is now Canada’s only NBA franchise.
The only thing worse than their history with superstars is their history with management. Isaiah Thomas? No thanks. Tracy McGrady, Charles Oakley, and Vince Carter? Christ, talk about a wake.
This could be a long season for the Raps, which would be a shame. While they were always destined to be a bubble team in 2012 — at best — the last thing they need is to see their fresh faces and excitable talent worn out and worn down after a full season of disappointment and 82 straight games spent not knowing whether they’ll lose or lose by just a little.