The Toronto Raptors have struggled to find a groove to begin the 2023-24 season. For a team wanting to make it back to the playoffs, a 9-11 record is not ideal.
After an impressive win against the Phoenix Suns, the Raptors did not build on that performance against the New York Knicks on Nov. 1. This was an important game for Toronto against a playoff team and they come out flat.
The only player who seemed ready to play was Scottie Barnes. He finished with 29 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 5 steals on 13-for-19 from the field. Outside of Barnes, there was not a whole lot of help with most of the starters struggling.
Ultimately, Toronto lost 119-106 and they continue to struggle to find consistency. Despite the loss, Barnes paid homage to Canadian soccer legend Christine Sinclair by rocking her jersey in the postgame press conference:
“One of the best to do it.”
Said he reached out to her to get the jersey & plans to give her his jersey when she’s in Toronto next. pic.twitter.com/AL19RfeNpW
— Adam Laskaris (@adam_la2karis) December 2, 2023
It is a nice gesture from the third-year forward as he recognizes Sinclair for her illustrious soccer career. Barnes has clearly immersed himself in Canadian sports since being drafted by Toronto in 2021.
It makes sense to do so as Barnes is going to be the cornerstone of the Raptors for years to come. He has become a popular name in Toronto in a short amount of time.
Perhaps both Barnes and Sinclair will be able to connect at a Raptors game soon as the two seem to have mutual respect for one another. It is always good to see stars from different sports form friendly relationships.
Next up for the Raptors
With the In-Season Tournament Quarterfinals kicking off on Monday and Tuesday, Toronto will benefit from some days off.
The Raptors are back at Scotiabank Arena on Dec. 6 against former Raptor Kyle Lowry and the Miami Heat.
Have you subscribed to the Raptors Nation YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!