Make or Miss League

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Poor Shooting Persists as Celtics Take Commanding 2-0 Series Lead

Fred VanVleet is the first player in NBA history to miss at least nine three-pointers in two straight playoff games.

That’s one way of summing up how bad the Toronto Raptors shooting has been through the first two games of this second round series against the Boston Celtics.

Game 2 was more of a gut punch for Raptor fans as their team shot a putrid 28 percent from long range, missing crucial shot after crucial shot, allowing the Celtics to crawl back into the game in the fourth quarter, leading to a heartbreaking 102-99 defeat. Behind a game-high 34 points from Jayson Tatum and an explosive shooting fourth quarter from the Celtics backcourt duo of Marcus Smart and Kemba Walker, the Raptors were unable to close the deal after entering the final frame up by eight.

“I think we played our guts out, we gave everything we could give,” said Raptors coach Nick Nurse. “I thought we played very well. I’m very proud of the guys today, very proud.“

The Raptors now find themselves in a similar position as that of last year, when they fell behind 2-0 in the Eastern Conference Finals to the Milwaukee Bucks. The only difference is, the Raptors are without the services of superstar Kawhi Leonard, and will need to figure out the answer to their shooting problems internally.

“I mean, we’re pretty pissed right now, we’re down 0-2,” Kyle Lowry said following the loss. “This is not a situation we’d like to be in but it’s not a normal situation in the playoffs where we lost two home games, we just lost two games. We got a chance to get one game. That’s all we gotta do is get one game and take it one game at a time.”

Of course, this season is far from over and if there is one thing the Raptors can hang their hats on is how good they looked defensively in their Game 2 loss. The offense must catch up and in starts with hitting open shots in Game 3.

Sometimes it just comes down to one thing – it’s a make or miss league.

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