Raptors in ping-pong ball hunt

MIKE GANTER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:21 AM ET

MILWAUKEE — If the season ended tonight, the Raptors would have a 15.6% of earning the top pick in the NBA draft this June and that’s as good a shot as the Raptors are going to have.

And really, what else is there to concern oneself with now.

The Celtics did the Raptors a huge favour walking into Washington and laying down just enough that the Wizards squeaked out a win in overtime.

That result combined with the Raptors’ 93-86 loss in Milwaukee assures the Raps of at worst — or best depending on your point of view — finishing in a tie for third worst record in the NBA.

If the Raptors finish alone in third worst, they would have a 156 ping-pong balls in the drum of the 1,000 total. If they finish tied, they would get the average of the total chances of the third- and fourth-place teams combined which would work out to 137 chances of the 1,000 ping-pong balls.

The Minnesota Timberwolves and Cleveland Cavaliers will fight it out for the worst and next-to-worst record with the worst record earning that team a 25% shot at the first pick.

The only combination that will see the Raptors tie for third worst record on Wednesday is a Raptors win over Miami and a Washington loss to Cleveland. Any other combination leaves the Raptors with 156 ping-pong balls.

Reggie, over and out?

The announced crowd of 17,755 at the ACC on Sunday to see the New Jersey Nets bow down to the Raptors may have also witnessed Reggie Evans’ final game in a Raptors uniform.

Evans made the trip to Milwaukee but was scratched when a lingering sore left index finger became too bothersome to play.

His spot in the starting lineup was filled by Joey Dorsey and left the Raptors with an eight-man roster for the entire game and that includes Solomon Alabi, who has appeared in a total of 10 games this year for a total of 40 minutes of court time.

Evans is an unrestricted free agent after this season and with the Raptors already committed to Amir Johnson and Ed Davis, the only way Evans comes back is as a somewhat highly priced bench player a spot filled this year by Leandro Barbosa, who has a player’s option for next season.

Evans said he’s been playing with the pain in his left hand and his surgically repaired foot for some time. He said he originally hurt the hand in mid-March in a loss in Detroit and then took “three good whacks” on it again Sunday in the game against the Nets.

He has no idea who hit him any of those four times but he does know it’s sore enough that he can’t play.

“Hopefully I’ll be all right to go Wednesday,” Evans said as trainer Rory Mullin worked on his sore finger.

Evans is without question the most popular Raptor on the roster and if he is not to be back next season, here’s hoping the fan base gets its opportunity on Wednesday to let him know how they feel one more time.

Baby Reggie

That’s what DeMar DeRozan was calling Joey Dorsey in light of his 20-rebound night.

With Evans not in uniform and only eight Raptors dressed, Dorsey got a rare opportunity to play through his mistakes and wound up with 10 offensive and 10 defensive boards in addition to 10 points.

He became just the seventh Raptor all time to have a 20-or-more rebound game joining Jerome Williams, Chris Bosh, Donyell Marshall, Popeye Jones, Hakeem Olajuwon and, of course, Evans.

But it wasn’t all smiles and giggles afterward for Dorsey, who was kicking himself for a 3-for-12 shooting night despite rarely making an attempt from beyond five feet.

“I just tried to go out there and do what Reggie does and that’s grab every rebound and just give 110%,” Dorsey said.

“But if I made just 6-of-12, we would have been in that game. I try not to be so down on myself, but the way I feel is I have to prove myself (both as a scorer and a rebounder) and I haven’t done that yet.”

Good exchange rate

It’s far better financially that this final road game of the season occur in Milwaukee rather than New York. The reason? In New York, the 10 extra rooms the team had booked for this trip that became last minute cancellations with injuries and otherwise would have cost them a minimum of the cost of six of the rooms.

Not in Milwaukee however where the demand isn’t quite at New York levels.

Tradition ... sort of

That pre-game bench huddle the Raptors normally have turned in to a bit of a joke when Julian Wright grabbed Solomon Alabi and Alexis Ajinca and tried to keep the tradition going.

That's a compliment?

It was fan appreciation night at the Bradley Center and each member of the Bucks was introduced and then handed a jersey to a waiting fan. Some of the introductions though seemed a little forced like the one for Chris Douglas-Roberts that complimented his ability to have “entertaining tweets.”


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