It feels like the second round just started (heck, it hasn’t even started in the Western Conference yet) and yet here we are, with the defending NBA Champion Toronto Raptors down 0-2 and about to enter a “must win” Game 3 tonight against the Boston Celtics. 0-2? Already? Didn’t we just get here!?
This is not, as Jackson Rakoczy noted earlier today, a particularly enjoyable place to be as Raptors fans. We’ve been through this enough, haven’t we? The questions about being built for the playoffs, about having “the guy,” about getting out of the second round... it’s exhausting.
Of course, what really matters is not how we feel, but how the players and coaches are feeling. The 2019-20 Toronto Raptors have been pretty resilient, responding to setbacks like injuries and tough losses and 30-point deficits by banding together, ratcheting up the defense and counting on each other on offense.
Can they do it in the playoffs? Can Nick Nurse make the right adjustments? Can the Raptors get more from their bench, win the centre battle, shoot a decent percentage from long range and get out in transition more... and do all that while maintaining their defensive intensity? Can they do it tonight, and then do it three more times?
It’s a tall order. Let’s find out if they're up for it.
Where to Watch
TSN, 6:30 PM EST
Toronto – Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol
Boston – Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Daniel Theis
Toronto – Patrick McCaw (knee – out), Oshae Brissett (knee – out)
Boston – Javonte Green (knee – out), Gordon Hayward (ankle – out), Tremont Waters (knee – out), Vincent Poirier (personal — out)