The Raptors Had a Title in Their Grasp. Now They Must Regroup.


Of course, simply this postseason, Nurse watched from the sidelines when the Raptors bought one of many bounces to go their manner: At the top of Game 7 towards the Philadelphia 76ers, Leonard took a baseline jumper on the alternative aspect of the courtroom that Lowry did on the identical stage of the sport. In that occasion, the ball bounced 4 occasions and fell into the rim. Sometimes, the basketball gods are friendlier than others.

Now, Toronto should regroup for Game 6, however to date, that hasn’t been a problem for this group. The Raptors have already received twice at Oracle this sequence. They have proven a outstanding potential to remain poised after setbacks. This playoff run alone: The Raptors misplaced their first sport in the opening spherical towards the Orlando Magic at residence, solely to not lose one other your complete sequence. They nearly misplaced Game 7 towards Philadelphia at residence in the second spherical, adopted by dropping the primary two contests on the street towards the higher-seeded Milwaukee in the Eastern Conference finals. Toronto, once more, received 4 straight.

Each time Toronto has been challenged, it has overcome.

“It’s not going to be easy, stay confident,” Leonard mentioned, on what he instructed teammates following the loss. “We know we can win and that’s it.”

Toronto is comparatively wholesome, whereas Golden State should depend on less-talented gamers to make up for the holes left by the absence of Durant and doubtlessly Looney once more. Leonard had an uncharacteristically poor capturing efficiency in Game 5: 9-24 from the sector, whereas the Raptors solely shot 25 p.c from Three as a group. Both of these statlines are more likely to revert to a extra optimistic imply in the following contest.

But this creates a particular form of stress on the Raptors. Golden State will not be the form of group the Raptors wish to depart the door open for, which is what Toronto did in Game 5. The Warriors, in spite of everything, got here again from a Three-1 deficit towards the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2016 Western Conference finals. Even with the lack of Durant and Looney, they’ve two of the higher shooters in league historical past, in addition to a different bona fide All-Star in Green.

Toronto has two extra probabilities. If for some cause the Raptors find yourself dropping the sequence, that Lowry jumper could be replayed on loop. After all: They had been proper there.



Source link Nytimes.com

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