One of the best parts of the second round of the NBA playoffs is that the players’ families have now joined them in the bubble, offering no shortage of opportunities for the “awww” factor as cameras cut to socially-distanced toddlers doing their best to stay awake for late tip-off times in Orlando.
Still, the Raptors were in a rough spot Thursday night after going down 0-2 to the Celtics, and things weren’t looking much better toward the end of regulation when they found themselves trailing and facing what would almost certainly be an insurmountable 3-0 deficit.
Fortunatley, O.G. Anunoby came through at the buzzer for the win, in the process blessing us with a classic Kyle Lowry moment and breathing new life into a Raptors team that desperately needed it. Heading into Game 3 with a chance to tie the series, it’s all the confidence boost they needed, if you ask Fred VanVleet. Via Sam Amick of The Athletic:
Bedlam ensued, with Anunoby swarmed by his teammates as the executives, staff and family members all went wild. In the nearby hallway that leads to the locker rooms, Raptors president Masai Ujiri and general manager Bobby Webster were in disbelief. And VanVleet, the Raptors guard who had finally finished a television interview on the floor where it all went down, walked briskly by his basketball bosses with a message that should concern the Celtics.
“They f*cked up,” he said of the Boston squad that was so close to being up 3-0 in the series. “They f*cked up now.”
Toronto will definitely need VanVleet playing like he did in Game 3 if they want any chance. He scored 25 points in the contest, including 17 in the second half, after starting the series ice-cold from behind the arc.
The Raptors will try to even things up when Game 4 tips off on Saturday at 6:30 ET on TNT.