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Raptors fined $25,000 for violating league’s policies on resting players and injury reporting

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The Toronto Raptors were fined $25,000 by the NBA on Saturday for violating the league’s rules on resting players. There was no specific player or game mentioned in the league’s press release, which was short and read as follows:

The NBA announced today that the Toronto Raptors have been fined $25,000 for failing to comply with league policies governing player rest and injury reporting. 

While we don’t know exactly which personnel decision by the Raptors made the league upset, there are really only a few to choose from. Earlier this week, the Raptors rested Kyle Lowry, Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby in their win over the Orlando Magic

That was the third straight night off for Lowry, who had only recently returned from a foot infection which kept him sidelined for two weeks. Between that injury and his rest, Lowry has played just twice since March 26. While the Raptors are well within their rights to be careful with their best player, the league clearly isn’t pleased with how they’re going about it. 

It’s been a difficult season for the Raptors, who in general have had a pretty rough go of things. They had to move their entire operation to Tampa, Florida, got decimated by COVID-19 ahead of the All-Star break and lost 12 of 13 games in March to tumble so far down the Eastern Conference standings that they weren’t even in a position to be a part of the play-in tournament. 

At that point, they started to take it easy with some of their best players, and it certainly seemed like they were packing it in. While it’s a touchy subject to say teams are hoping to lose, the Raptors definitely haven’t been going all-out to try and make the playoffs. The thing is, they might end up there anyway.

The bottom of the East is a mess, and even with some weaker lineups, the Raptors have gone 5-4 in their last nine games to climb into 10th place. For now, that puts them into the play-in tournament. Obviously, there’s a long way to go, but the Raptors’ season isn’t over quite yet. 

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