A team trailing 3-0 winning Game 4 at home before losing in Game 5 is a classic playoff scenario. The Nuggets can attest to this, those who have just been eliminated as well.
The feat of the Raptors is to have just won Game 5, in Philadelphia, to push the series to Game 6, in Canada this Thursday evening, where everything will be possible.
“When you lead 3-0, the teams are no longer the same”reminds Doc Rivers, at the center of criticism with his liabilities in the playoffs, to ESPN. “A lot of teams don’t win Game 4. The Celtics were the only ones this season. All the others lost. »
Sure, but with Joel Embiid’s Game 3 buzzer shot plus Fred VanVleet’s injury, the Raptors were supposed to be down, unable to get back up.
“I’ve been in Toronto for a while and I’ve seen baskets at the buzzer. Usually, we move on to the next match.Chris Boucher told Sports Net. “But this one, he stuck. 3-0, it hurts and we say to ourselves that we could have done better, everyone remembers their mistakes. It changes the whole series. »
“If any team could do it and come back, it’s us”
What was the secret of the Canadians to bounce back in Game 4? “Our only thought was to win the next game. Either way, it had to be taken. We thought of nothing else”announces Gary Trent Jr. “The times when we perform best are when we have our backs against the wall”says Chris Boucher.
For Nick Nurse, this ability to resist, to survive and never to let go is in the DNA of this group, which likes to defy predictions. Before this 2021/22 exercise, few imagined the Raptors at this level.
“It’s been like that all season”remarks the coach for the Toronto Sun. “Maybe also because the expectations were very low. We weren’t sure of ourselves, our group was a bit crazy, with a rather bizarre style. We took things as they came. We were able to win a few matches in a row, we were pushed around a bit too, we recovered. So when we talked about that, being down 3-0, we thought if any team could do it and come back, it’s us. »
Gary Trent Jr. does not say otherwise.
“We experienced that during the season. The injuries or the Covid-19, we let the storm pass each time. You shouldn’t get carried away when things were going well, or get carried away when things were going badly. Just continue. »
And now, the Canadian franchise finds itself in front of a real feat to accomplish since only three teams, in the history of the NBA, have managed to come back from a 3-0 to force a Game 7.
These are the Knicks in the 1951 Finals against the Rochester Royals (the ancestors of the Kings), then the Nuggets against the Jazz in the second round in 1994, and finally the Blazers in the first round in 2003 against Dallas. Nevertheless, neither went on to win the final game and the series…
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