“Everybody could see that it’s just not a fluke,” DeRozan said of the importance of the wins over the Mavericks and Thunder. “We’re not winning games because of luck or because the other team had an off night. It goes a long way when you go out there and have a game when you’re struggling, come back from adversity on the road in a hostile place against tough teams. That goes a long way, and shows a lot of character.”
More growing will be required in order to survive one final brutal stretch of an early schedule that has been a daunting one. According to nba.com, Toronto has had the fifth-toughest schedule of any NBA team (adjusted for days home vs. away and days of rest) and is the only East team in the top 11.
In the 10 games since Gay’s departure, nine of them starts, the Washington product has shot 48.3% from three-point range. Ross nailed a career-best seven treys on Saturday against Washington and has hit 18 of his past 31 attempts. With opponents keying on Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan and even Jonas Valanciunas on the strong side, Ross has constantly been lurking on the weak side, ready to connect from outside. “Huge,” Casey said of the contribution Ross has been making.
A report Monday said a black and gold scheme has emerged as a contender and that makes sense, since global ambassador Drake has built his OVO brand around those colours. An advertisement on raptors.com for “Drake Night” at the ACC on Jan. 11 depicts a black and gold Raptors logo beside Drake’s similarly coloured owl trademark.
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