Most of the team donned looks that would land somewhere between “what is happening” and “everything is fine” on the panic-scale during their media scrum on Friday afternoon, following the Game 2 loss to a nuclear LeBron James. You can’t blame these guys though, as most of the fan base is wandering around the world today wearing the same expressions.
We’ve reached the point of “playing for pride” in Casey’s words, so there’s a token of confidence for everybody. Give him a hand though—through everything, he’s still focused on his game plan and finding the little fixes that could help swing Game 3 in Toronto’s favor:
To be fair, the team is maintaining a mindset between games that wasn’t there at all last season. Following each game of the 2017 Semi-Finals sweep at the hands of the same Cavaliers, there were a bevvy of quotable moments from each of DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry that signaled an early defeat.
Today, Fred VanVleet provided no such moment of wavering. “Obviously it hasn’t been our best showing, down 0-2, but it’s the first to four [wins]. So all we can worry about is going to Cleveland and try to get one.”
He continued the tone established by his head coach:
C.J. Miles even found a moment to smile about when asked whether he was allowing the chatter surrounding the team’s Game 2 collapse to affect his mentality heading to Cleveland on Saturday. “I don’t have any social media on my phone. I delete all the apps on my phone for the playoffs.”
Miles also offered his thoughts on how to keep forward Serge Ibaka focused after his series of dismal playoff performances came to a head on Thursday evening:
“Just encourage him. Serge is a big part of what we do; a big part of this team. We know we need him and we know the things he’s capable of doing... It’s unfortunate that he’s had a little bit of a rut right now, but he’ll be fine.”