With the Toronto Raptors in prime position to end their five-year playoff drought, the last thing they can afford to do is take their foot off the gas and allow themselves to fall drastically in the standings.
The second Atlantic Division title in franchise history is right in the crosshairs. All that remains is merely holding off the Brooklyn Nets (26-28, five games back) in order to guarantee (at least) a top-four seed in the conference.
These remaining 25 games are of the utmost importance. The team can simply not afford to have any setbacks. A clean bill of health will be key, but building confidence, stringing together more victories and continuing to establish themselves as a legitimate threat to the top dogs in the East will be vital.
The offense will continue to run through DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry, but what about everyone else? This would seem like the opportune time for certain individuals to step up their games as we creep ever so closer to the postseason.
This is in no way, shape or form a slight against those who are about to be singled out. The likes of Terrence Ross and Jonas Valanciunas have done their part to keep the team afloat, but no one can deny that the young duo, as well as some of their teammates, can do even more.
*All statistics are courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com and are current as of Feb. 25, 2014*