Title: ‘Really good at bouncing back’: Another blowout loss puts Raptors on the brink
Date: September 7, 2020
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about the Raptors turning in a second listless performance in five games, putting them on the brink of elimination.
It was another example of how the NBA’s fan-less relaunch environment has changed how playoff games are perceived.
It wasn’t the lack of a raucous Scotiabank Arena crowd, flanked by Jurassic Park outside. Under normal circumstances, the listless Toronto Raptors could have relied on one of the best crowds in basketball to spark them for Game 5 against the Boston Celtics, not that it should be necessary in a 2-2 situation. It also wasn’t a shift in officiating, the acoustics of an empty gym amplifying contact. It wasn’t even the extra space afforded the inbounder on the sideline without courtside seats, something the Raptors had taken advantage of earlier in the series.
Instead, it was the quiet and the lack of cutaway camera shots that put an every-game moment centre screen. It stood out as uncharacteristic, not because the passion of these Raptors has never boiled over into frustration before but because it felt like viewers were given a window into what’s usually a subtler, more intimate moment between teammates.