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#pounditTuesday, February 7, 2023

Raptors react to being booed at ‘home’ game

Nick Nurse

The Toronto Raptors lost another tough game on Thursday night in what has been an incredibly challenging season, and they continued to receive very little support from the “home” fans.

Because of COVID-19 restrictions in Canada, the Raptors have had to play all of their home games in Tampa. There were roughly 2,000 fans in attendance at Amalie Arena on Thursday, and they booed the “home team” during their 131-129 overtime loss to the Washington Wizards. Pascal Siakam said the Raptors have grown used to it.

“We’ve felt like we’ve been on the road all year so I don’t think it’s something new,” Siakam told reporters, via TSN’s Josh Lewenberg. “You kinda get caught like, oh, where are we? But we’re kinda used to it.”

The Raptors fell to 27-40 with the loss. They’re four games out of the No. 10 seed in the Eastern Conference, which would put them in the play-in tournament for a shot at making the playoffs. It’s fair to wonder how much better the Raptors would have played if they weren’t essentially on the road all year.

Head coach Nick Nurse is clearly annoyed with the situation, as evidenced by his response when he was asked about the boos on Thursday night. Nurse mentioned how he coached many games in Europe where the home fans booed.

“So I didn’t really notice it tonight. Thanks for pointing it out,” he said. “When you write your season-ending article you can add it to the list of things that went into this weird season.”

Nurse’s response wasn’t surprising, as he has not been in the best mood this week. The coach also slammed a report earlier this week that criticized one of his former assistants.

The Raptors have five games left, with three of them being at “home.” While they are not yet mathematically eliminated from the postseason, they probably can’t wait for the season to end.

Photo: Nick Barden/Wikimedia via cc-by-SA 4.0


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