Those close to the Raptors have spoken all year about the cohesion on the team, the chemistry that exists, the ease with which they assimilated a new, significant player into the fold these past three weeks.

And now with one of their own under fire at home, the players are sticking up for him.

The booing of Andrea Bargnani, which began, oddly, after he returned from a 26-game injury absence, has not gone unnoticed by the players, one of whom is mildly taking the fans to task.

“I love our fans to death,” guard Kyle Lowry said through his Twitter account late Friday night, “but booing one of our players isn’t cool and it should NOT be done!! Hopefully next game it won’t happen!!”

Lowry was reacting to yet more vociferous displeasure for Bargnani during Friday night’s dramatic win over the New York Knicks.

The seven-foot forward, who had been the subject of trade discussions before last Thursday’s deadline, was booed when he entered the game in the first quarter and again after he missed his first shot. The derision grew louder when he missed his second but apparently fans were ignorant of the situation: it was a forced jumper with a second left on the shot clock that he had to hurry. He did not attempt another field goal the rest of the game and finished with no points and no rebounds in 13 minutes.