Kyle Lowry is ready to lead from the front as Toronto try to battle their way through an injury crisis.
The defending champion Raptors are reeling from losing Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol and Norman Powell indefinitely – all after suffering injuries in the same game on Wednesday night.
But in the first of three games in four days on Friday, Lowry led the team in points with 26 and added four rebounds and nine assists in a 122-118 win over Washington.
And the 33-year-old point guard refuses to use the crocked list as an excuse as they prepare to host Dallas tonight.
Lowry said: “It’s going to be a work in progress but guys are going to continue to get more comfortable with every game. I want to have everybody step up.
“I’m going to do what I have to do and help our team win games. Friday night was a good effort by everybody to get themselves going. Having Freddie VanVleet back (18 points, nine rebounds, eight assists) definitely helped a lot.
“I see myself as a mentor, scorer, playmaker but just to give these guys the confidence in what they are doing. I want to make sure they shoot shots and if they miss, then never put their heads down.”
Sunday Dec 22 – Dallas at Toronto, Sky Sports Arena (8.30pm)
Saturday Dec 28 – Memphis at Denver, Sky Sports Arena (10pm)