Of all the things the young Raptors have had to learn this year, the most important one is something no one can teach:
How to suck it up through tough stretches of the schedule and find a way to fight fatigue and the normal aches and pains and still play well.
They have, for the most part, failed miserably and if they don't learn, the future doesn't look nearly as good as some think.
"This is good for our young players, they have to learn how to play through it and they have to be better playing through it," said coach Jay Triano.
But the results haven't been there often enough and it will be telling to see how they play out the string.
At least two and maybe three of their final four games -- at home to New Jersey, at Milwaukee and possibly against a resting Miami team on the final night of the regular season -- are against teams in the same boat as the Raptors: Pretty much playing just to get the season over.
But the youngest of the Raptors, namely rookie big man Ed Davis and second year swingmen DeMar DeRozan and James Johnson, who are considered key parts of the core for the future, need to make some progress as this lost season draws to a conclusion to provide a measure of hope.
CAVALIERS 104, RAPTORS 96: Without starting big men Andrea Bargnani and Amir Johnson, both out with ankle injuries, the Raptors simply couldn't manufacture enough points to beat the team with the worst record in the NBA. Jerryd Bayless continued his excellent play of late, leading Toronto with 28 points off the bench.
Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.