MINNEAPOLIS - The Raptors suffered a major loss before even taking the court on Sunday night.
Dwane Casey broke the bad news pre-game that sixth man Patrick Patterson would be lost for at least the next 7-10 days after aggravating an elbow injury against Sacramento on Friday.
Patterson had been playing through the original injury and playing the best basketball of his career (9.7 points and 5.2 rebounds per game on 43% three-point shooting as a Raptor), but doctors have recommended rest for what has been termed a right ulnar collateral sprain.
“Only thing is rest that’s going to heal it and that’s unfortunate for us,” Casey said.
“So we’re going to miss him but now is an opportunity for someone else ... We still have some other quality guys. Tyler Hansbrough’s played a lot of playoff games, Steve Novak is one of our best shooters. So we have different guys that can step in and give us something different.”
John Salmons said the way Patterson’s been shooting and rebounding, he gives the Raptors a different dimension off of the bench.
“As a big, kind of changes the opposing team’s mindsets when he comes in because he’s a different player from Amir (Johnson) and (Jonas Valanciunas). It’s definitely a tough loss for us,” Salmons said, notwithstanding that Hansbrough and Hayes are “more than capable” of holding the fort.
“We still have guys that we can go to, but Pat just brings a different dynamic from all the other bigs on the team,” Salmons says.
Tonight was the first game he was out, but the Raptors still won.
Speedy recovery, 2 Pat. Were going to need you down the stretch.