Game 2 Turning Point: The Raptors’ bench-heavy lineup gave away its minutes

Game 2 was a frustrating watch for Toronto, with many fans anticipating the team’s mistakes before coach Nick Nurse seemingly did. But a loss is a great reminder that adjustments should never stop in the playoffs. With just a few minutes remaining in the third quarter of Game 2, Toronto found themselves back in the game after a frenetic push to close the gap on a 13-point halftime deficit. They managed to whittle down the difference to just a single point — and then came the mistake that has plagued the Raptors all postseason long.
Nick Nurse pulled three starters out and placed Norman Powell, Serge Ibaka and Fred VanVleet in the game all at once.

VAMOS!— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) April 30, 2019

Not only has this kind of substitution killed critical runs and game-shifting momentum for Toronto, it’s proved to be fatal for all three players’ effectiveness and confidence. After a Game 1 win, Fred VanVleet was heard saying he just gave the ball to Pascal Siakam and Kawhi Leonard; that he didn’t want to mess up what they had going. That doesn’t sound like the usually confident Steady Freddy.
For all six of Toronto’s …

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Author: Joel E Stephens / Raptors HQ

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