Technically, the Toronto Raptors have played 29 home games.
Realistically, the Raptors have been on the road for all of their 58 games this season.
COVID-19 healthy and safety protocols uprooted the franchise from its home base in Toronto and displaced it to Tampa for the 2020-21 season.
If you count the bubble in Orlando, the Raptors have been on a nine-month road trip. In an unusual NBA season, the Raptors had the most unusual season – 1,335 miles from home, or 2,150 kilometers for those keeping tabs in Canada.
Asked to sum up Toronto’s season, veteran guard Kyle Lowry said, “It’s not possible to be honest with you. Not possible. We miss Toronto. We miss home. We miss everything about that. That part alone is difficult to deal with.
“Tampa has been a great city for us. We have fans here. At the same time, they want to see the stars. Tampa doesn’t have basketball so they’re coming to cheer for the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, San Antonio Spurs, Atlanta Hawks, Steph Curry. They want to see the stars play. They don’t get a chance to see them up close and personal. They’re going to root for their favorite players and teams.”
Toronto is in 11th place in the Eastern Conference and competing for the final play-in game spot with Chicago and Washington. The Raptors are 25-34 and a respectable 15-15 at “home”.
“I wish we were a lot better,” Lowry said. “I’d like to think things would’ve been a little different if we were home.”
There’s no doubt…