Nurse mentioned it took “ quite a lot of balls bouncing the flawed manner within the final couple minutes for us to return out on the flawed facet of it tonight.”
In fact, simply this postseason, Nurse watched from the sideline when the Raptors obtained one of many bounces to go their manner. On the finish of Recreation 7 of the Jap Convention semifinals, in opposition to the Philadelphia 76ers, Leonard took a baseline jumper on the other facet of the court docket that Lowry did on the similar stage of the sport. In that occasion, the ball bounced 4 occasions earlier than falling by way of the basket. The basketball gods are friendlier at some occasions than at others.
Now, Toronto should regroup for Recreation 6 on Thursday at Golden State, however to date, that hasn’t been a difficulty for this staff. The Raptors have gained twice at Oracle on this sequence. They’ve proven a outstanding means to remain poised after setbacks. This playoff run alone: The Raptors misplaced their first sport within the opening spherical in opposition to the Orlando Magic at residence, however didn’t lose one other your entire sequence. They nearly misplaced Recreation 7 in opposition to Philadelphia at residence within the second spherical, then misplaced the primary two contests on the highway in opposition to higher-seeded Milwaukee within the Jap Convention finals. Toronto, once more, gained 4 straight.
Every time Toronto has been challenged, it has overcome.
“It’s not going to be straightforward, keep assured,” Leonard mentioned, describing what he advised teammates after Monday’s loss. “We all know we are able to 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 a poor capturing efficiency in Recreation 5: 9 for 24 from the sector, whereas the Raptors shot solely 25 p.c from Three as a staff. These statistics are more likely to revert to the imply within the subsequent contest.
However this creates a particular type of stress on the Raptors. Golden State is just not the type of staff the Raptors wish to go away the door open for, which is what Toronto did in Recreation 5. The Warriors, in spite of everything, got here again from a 3-1 deficit in opposition to the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder within the 2016 Western Convention finals. Even with the lack of Durant and Looney, they’ve two of the higher shooters in league historical past, along with one other bona fide All-Star in Inexperienced.
Toronto has two extra probabilities. If, for some cause, the Raptors find yourself dropping this sequence, that Lowry jumper could be replayed on loop. In any case: They have been proper there.