The Toronto Raptors’ season came to a heartbreaking end on Wednesday night, when they lost to the Chicago Bulls 108-105 in the play-in tournament. The Raptors had a chance to force overtime, but Pascal Siakam missed two of his three free throws with 0.9 seconds left. The Raptors shot a dismal 18-of-36 from the foul line, missing 18 free throws in total. That’s the most free throws missed by any team in a single game this season.
Was Demar Derozan’s Daughter Screaming the Reason Raptors Missed 18 Free Throws?
Demar Derozan’s daughter was sitting courtside with her mother during the game. She was cheering loudly for her dad and his team, especially when the Raptors were shooting free throws. In very strategic fashion whenever they were at the free throw line, she screamed. Her voice was so loud that it became a topic of conversation during the ESPN telecast. It was heard across the arena despite the loud crowd.
The Raptors had a 19-point lead in the third quarter against the Bulls, but they allowed them to come back with Zach Lavine leading the charge with 30 points in the second half.
The Raptors still had a chance to tie the game, but Siakam missed two of his three free throws after being fouled by Nikola Vucevic on a three-point attempt. Siakam had a team-high 32 points, but he also missed five of his 11 free throws. What was the root cause of their free throw issues? Was it the scream effect?
Of course, there is no concrete evidence that her scream actually distracted the Raptors or influenced their shots, but it is a funny coincidence that they had one of their worst free throw shooting nights in franchise history against their former star and his daughter. In fact if you listen closely you could hear her scream when Siakam missed those crucial free throws that could have saved their season.
The Raptors can only wonder what could have been if they had made more of their foul shots. Maybe they would have won the game, and kept their playoff hopes alive. Maybe they would have avoided being haunted by Demar Derozan’s daughter, and her scream.
This seems like one of those losses that will sting the Raptors fanbase for a long time.