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When talking to the media after Wednesday’s practice, head coach Nick Nurse broke down his message to the Raptors after going down 3-0 to the Sixers.
No team in NBA history has come back to win a seven-game playoff series after trailing 3-0, but when the Raptors found themselves in that daunting position after a Game 3 loss on April 20, head coach Nick Nurse remained confident in his team’s chances.
Nurse’s stolidness stemmed from his one-game-at-a-time mentality, which has carried over to the team’s recent resurgence, as they now trail the series 3-2.
"We just knew that getting one could get us back in this thing and get us a chance to keep it going. Everybody was disappointed about the 3-0 start and it felt a little heavy for a while, but not long a while. When we finally got back to the film room the next day, I liked the body language; I liked what I was hearing communication-wise. We were ready to go.”
Despite losing Game 1 by 20 and Game 2 by 15, the former Coach of the Year believes that being plagued by injuries played a pivotal role in those early-series struggles.
“I can’t totally discount games 1 and 2 but, again, we were just out of sorts and out of sink because of all the injuries that hit us at the last second. I think we couldn’t quite manage that at the moment but I felt really good about the way we’ve played the last three games.”
The Raptors are the first team since the Bulls in 2015 to win two straight games after trailing a series 3-0 and will attempt to be only the fourth team in league history to force a Game 7 from that position on Thursday night.
When asked about his team’s chances of making history by overcoming the impossible, Nurse, with a smirk of confidence, said, “if somebody could do it, it’d be us.”
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