DeMar DeRozan will miss at least two games with a sore right ankle after he experienced some swelling following a 113-114 loss vs the Orlando Magic. The loss of DeRozan, who leads the team offensively averaging a career best 27.8 points a game (currently sixth in the league), comes at a bad time. The Toronto Raptors (29-19) have lost 6 of 7 games, are no longer in 2nd place, and can’t seem to get the offense going, During that stretch, Toronto has ranked last in field goal percentage (37.6%) and points scored (90.0 per game) and is 28th in rebounds (37.0).
“DeMar DeRozan’s not going to go tonight or tomorrow night.” pic.twitter.com/rYmKC1WOIW
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) January 31, 2017
Head Coach Dwane Casey made the announcement before the Raptors played the New Orleans Pelicans tonight. DeRozan’s absence makes Kyle Lowry the primary scorer once again. Jonas Valanciunas, Patrick Patterson, DeMarre Carroll, and Terrence Ross will also see a boost in scoring chances. DeRozan, who was recently named a starter for the Eastern Conference All-Star team, had missed the previous three games with an ankle injury after landing on the foot of teammate Jonas Valanciunas in the 4th quarter of a 115-103 loss to the Phoenix Suns on January 22nd. He returned to the lineup on Sunday against the Magic, where he was able to pick up 22 points, while adding 7 rebounds and 6 assists in 36 minutes. The team is keeping him out of the lineup as a precautionary measure, and Norman Powell will start in his place.
DeRozan missed tonight’s home game against the New Orleans Pelicans, and will also miss Wednesday’s road game against the Boston Celtics. With DeRozan missing time, the focus will shift back to Kyle Lowry, who is having the best year of his career averaging 22.9 points, while also getting 6.9 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game. Lowry is averaging 30.3 points per game during DeRozan’s previous three-game absence. Even when DeRozan returned to the lineup vs. the Magic, Lowry stayed hot, tying his season high in made three-pointers (6) and scoring 30 points or more for the third time in the last four games. The Raptors are playing their worst basketball of the season currently, but Lowry is doing everything he can to snap his team out of their losing ways even without their All-Star shooting guard in the lineup.