The road became that much more daunting for the Raptors, a team mathematically within reach of the post-season.

Reality paints a different story, one that involves duplicate pieces in Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan, a confidence-challenged Andrea Bargnani, a team with a deficient bench and a team that will soon have to play its rookies extended minutes, no matter the outcome.

A well-rested Bucks team now awaits the Raptors, who have to somehow forget the disappointment that was Friday night, a night when the visiting Indiana Pacers did what they do best by establishing.

There was effort by the Raptors, at no point did they quit or not compete, but they simply weren’t good enough against a very good Pacers team, not physical enough and not equipped, at least not at this stage of their evolution, to keep pace.

In the wake of their 93-81 loss, the Raptors have now lost three in a row against three teams in Indiana, Cleveland and Washington that play different styles.

The week began with so much promise, but now ends with the harsh truth that these Raptors just aren’t good enough.

By the time the Raptors return home to play Cleveland on March 10, the playoffs will be a complete afterthought.

The Raptors knew they had to summon a lot to even compete for a post-season berth when the season began, but expectations grew last weekend, heightened by Milwaukee dropping games, fuelled by Rudy Gay’s arrival.