Hopefully there's just one more game of this resting nonsense.
The Toronto Raptors will once again be without the vast majority of their usual starting lineup on Thursday night in a pivotal game against the Chicago Bulls. Kyle Lowry will again be resting, hopefully for the last time this season. He will be joined on the sideline by OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, Rodney Hood, Aron Baynes, Chris Boucher, and Paul Watson Jr. who are all dealing with various injuries and lingering problems.
Truthfully, this likely has far more to do with Toronto's lottery odds than anything else. With a loss Thursday night the Raptors will secure the seventh spot in the NBA lottery and a 31.9% chance at landing a top-four pick in the NBA Draft.
As things sit on Wednesday, Toronto is two games ahead of the Bulls for that seventh spot so a victory on Thursday could certainly make a difference going forward. If Toronto does slip behind Chicago, the Raptors could see their odds of landing a top-four pick fall to 26.3%, a pretty steel decline and one the Raptors' front office certainly wants to avoid.
If things go according to plan for Toronto, the Raptors will lose Thursday night and should be able to welcome back at least some of those missing players for the final two games of the season on Friday night against Dallas and on Sunday against Indiana.