Game Preview: Raptors at Pelicans

Holly MacKenzie - Raptors.com

After a rare three-day break the Raptors are in New Orleans to take on the Pelicans. Toronto is looking to bounce back from a disappointing 101-94 loss to the Bucks in Milwaukee on Saturday. The Pelicans are coming off an 88-83 loss to the Utah Jazz on Monday.

Tip-off: 8:00 P.M. ET

Broadcast info: SN1 / SN590

TALKING POINTS

Lowry speaks with media

Kyle Lowry spoke with the media in Miami, where the team practiced for three days before flying to New Orleans. It was Lowry's first time meeting with the media following a successful surgery to remove loose bodies on his right wrist. The surgery took place in New York on Feb. 28. Lowry is already looking ahead and is focused on the rehab process.

"I just basically have to rehab and get it stronger, get it back to full extension," Lowry said. "Right now there's still some swelling in there, some inflammation in there, but it's just a basic rehab. Get it stronger, get the flexibility back."

Lowry said he will return to New York next week to visit with his doctor, and that more than anything he wants to be completely healthy when he returns to ensure he can be the best version of himself. Although no one ever wants to undergo surgery, the point guard was looking at the positives of taking care of the wrist now.

"I got a healthy wrist," Lowry said. "That was the hope, that was the decision on this. For me it's not about anything but being healthy for my team and to help my team and organization to be successful."

In the meantime, there will be lots of cardio to stay active as Lowry and the training staff navigate his rehabilitation process and wait for clearances to do more.

"I'm going to do what I have to do," Lowry said. "I'm going to make sure I'm in shape. I'm going to make sure I'm mentally sharp. I'm going to make sure I'm physically sharp. To go out there and do what I can do. I'm not going to say I can play 45 minutes a night and get you 50 points, but I'm going to give you every single thing I have."

School in session

Shoe size aside there are no bigger shoes to fill than Kyle Lowry's within Toronto's locker room. While the point guard rehabs from wrist surgery, reserves Cory Joseph, Delon Wright and Fred Vanvleet are doing their best to to make up for his absence while also knowing that all they can do is play their own individual games.

Lowry being sidelined hasn't had any effect on his vocal leadership, though. Despite being in suit rather than uniform, the team leader is extremely participative in timeouts, often splitting his time between team huddles and coaching discussions, giving his thoughts and opinions. When he is on the bench, often seated beside VanVleet, Lowry's commentary continues.

"I talk to Freddie all game," Lowry said. "He's probably tired of me talking to him. I talk to him all game. Delon [too], those guys I tell them you see certain situations you've got to know what you need to do. I've been in their position before you've got to watch the game and see what needs to be done. Change of pace. Defence. Offence. You've got to be able to come in and affect the game in that sense of the game and that game going on. New Orleans game, if it's you need to pick up full court, get in the paint more, get Jonas or Serge a shot, those type of things I talk to them about."

Right place, right time

With a rare three-day break between games, the Raptors went to Miami. Electing to get some practice days away from the typical routine in Toronto seemed to work well for a team hoping to find its rhythm and hit its stride heading into the home stretch of the regular season.

"It came at a great time," DeMar DeRozan said. "We definitely need it. Tighten up on some things defensively and offensively, try to get that camaraderie going, especially with the new guys. Understand we've got to be consistent the last 19 games.

"It's one of those refresh moments that we need period. Mentally, physically, everything."

DeMarre Carroll's status for Wednesday is unknown after he suffered a sprained ankle in Saturday's loss in Milwaukee. The break was especially welcomed by the swingman as he waits for the ankle to heal.

"I think going down this stretch, you can be [physically tired]," Carroll said." The All-Star break was the physical relief, but sometimes you can be mentally tired, so I feel like mentally we got to clear our minds, come out here, walk around, enjoy this great weather and enjoy things as a team."

Besides the work on the practice floor, the time away was good for off court activities too.

""It's been good," Carroll said. "We did a lot of good things. We had a team dinner. It's been great for us to kind of clear our mind, get back, refocus and do it as a team. We had a high-energy practice, I think everybody was happy, excited."