Raptors coach Nick Nurse got fined for throwing his mask and cursing at a referee in Toronto’s loss to the Jazz on Friday.
Tension within the Raptors didn’t dissipate during their loss to the Cavaliers on Sunday.
Toronto forward Pascal Siakam apparently got into it with Nurse.
Shams Charania of The Athletic:
The Toronto Raptors fined star forward Pascal Siakam $50,000 for directing heated choice words toward head coach Nick Nurse after Sunday’s loss in Cleveland, sources tell The Athletic.
The incident occurred while the Raptors were leaving the floor
Doug Smith of the Toronto Star:
According to Raptors PR chief Jennifer Quinn, any issue between Nick Nurse and Pascal Siakam is "being discussed" and "no decisions have been made" concerning any discipline yet.
— Doug Smith: Raptors (@SmithRaps) March 23, 2021
Though it’d be nice to know whether or not the Raptors actually fined Siakam, the bigger takeaway is that Siakam and Nurse had a heated argument that rose to the level a fine was even being considered.
Earlier this season, Toronto benched Siakam for a game for leaving the court early in the prior game.
Pressure points with the Raptors have only increased since.
They had a coronavirus outbreak that reportedly stemmed from coaches not wearing their masks properly. (Regardless of the coaching staff did, that storyline becoming public indicated internal problems.) Siakam has continued to play below the level he showed early last season. Toronto has lost nine straight, including a loss to the Rockets yesterday.
Winning cures most ills. This losing streak exacerbates frustration. But as chemistry unravels, it becomes more difficult to win.
The Raptors are snowballing in the wrong direction. They need something – a deliberate change in attitude, a few breaks, something – to get back on track.