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Toronto Raptors: Back-to-Back Games Not a Raptors' Cup of Tea

Louis PisanoAnalyst INovember 30, 2009

16 Nov 2000:  The Toronto Raptors mascot rides a scooter down the sidelines during the game against the Portland Trail Blazers at the Air Canada Center in Toronto, Canada. The Blazers defeated the Raptors 86-80. NOTE TO USER: It is expressly understood that the only rights Allsport are offering to license in this Photograph are one-time, non-exclusive editorial rights. No advertising or commercial uses of any kind may be made of Allsport photos. User acknowledges that it is aware that Allsport is an editorial sports agency and that NO RELEASES OF ANY TYPE ARE OBTAINED from the subjects contained in the photographs.Mandatory Credit: Robert Skeoch  /Allsport
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The Raptors' loss to Charlotte on Wednesday, Nov. 25th marked the third time in three occasions this season that the Raps have lost in the second game of back-to-back matches.

The next six games see the Raptors playing back-to-back three times, and then another seven times throughout the rest of the season.

If the previous three losses are any indication of how this team will show up, or fail to show up as the case may be, can we just chalk those up as losses?

Hopefully not!

It’s hard on anyone to play one night and travel to another city to play and still bring a high paced energy the next night. But with these losses in the second game of back-to-back games becoming a trend, is this a testament to a lack of conditioning for this team?

With all of the focus on becoming a run and gun team in coach Jay Triano’s system, along with the constant struggle to become a better defensive team, have the Raptors been run a little ragged? Not to mention the horrid scheduling, that has become more documented recently by the media and fans alike.

Hopefully within this next six game stint, which includes the previously mentioned three back-to-back games, the Raptors will break this trend. But it will be tough.

The first of these see the Raps taking on the now healthier Washington Wizards on Dec. 1st at the ACC. Then they will travel to Atlanta to take on the Hawks, who have a record of 7-1 at home. Definitely a tough spot for anyone to be in.

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The second back-to-back series has Toronto playing at Washington on Friday, Dec. 4th, and then they travel to play Chicago, who has been on an extended road trip because of the yearly visit by the Circus. The Bulls hold a record of 4-1 on home court.

The final back-to-backer in this stretch has the Raps playing Tuesday, Dec. 8th at Minnesota, a team they should dominate. After that, they travel the next day to Milwaukee to play the Bucks, whose home record is 6-2. Could it be tougher on Toronto? I don’t think so.

The Raptors will need to dig deep during these games to break this trend of having a hard time in back-to-back nights, and these games will be no cakewalk. With four of the six games being on the road, and the fact that the Raps haven’t been good on the road and are 0-3 in back to back games, this is going to be a down-right tough time for Canada’s team!

Hopefully the Raps can pull through and change their stars while proving these ugly trends wrong!

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