The Toronto Raptors have been an entirely different team in the past few weeks,  the mega deal that brought Rudy Gay to town has dramatically differed the confidence of the club.


Toronto is on a five game winning streak with Tuesdays win over the Wizards in Washington to begin the post All-Star break second half of the season.  Wednesday Gay will face his old team for the first time when the Memphis Grizzlies come to the Air Canada Centre.


Wednesdays match up also marks the return of Ed Davis to Toronto, who was shipped to Memphis in the Gay deal.


Toronto is 6-2 in the aftermath of the trade and have for the first time in a number of years breathed new life in to the Raptors long-suffering fan base.  Gay has averaged 21.1 points in his eight games in a Raptors uniform not to mention two game winning buzzer beaters.


“He’s given us a shot in the arm,” said Raptors coach Dwane Casey. “He’s a big-time player.”


“I’m excited about this team – excited about the possibilities of how good we can be,” Gay recently said. “It was kind of a mixture of feelings when it first happened, getting traded and not knowing anything and one day thinking you’re competing for a championship and the next day you’re getting shipped off somewhere. It was a mixture of feelings…and now I’ve just got to embrace where I’m at. I’m happy I’m a Raptor right now… I want to see this team be a good team, to be a playoff team again.”


While the playoffs are still a long shot there is now hope for the future.  The dynamic that is developing between Gay and Demar Derozan is a positive, and then there is what looks like a new passer in Kyle Lowry who is moving the rock with more consistency than at any time in the pre trade era.  To top off the excitement that is building around the team Terrence Ross was crowned the victor of the slam dunk competition over the weekend.


After an abysmal start to the year there is,  for good reason new hope in Toronto surrounding the basketball team.





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