There’s no question that everything gets a little bit tougher once the games start to mean a little bit more. The Toronto Raptors found this out the hard way - again - in Game 1 of their playoff series with the Orlando Magic.
The team responded with a resounding effort in a blowout win in Game 2, but they know the ramping up of intensity is just getting started.
“Exert a lot of mental and physical effort,” head coach Nick Nurse said of the attitude adjustment needed in the playoffs. “if there’s something or some reason that you can’t run as hard as you can, or get down and move, then you need to come out and rest.”
Kyle Lowry is among those Raptors players that needed a jump start in Game 2, after he failed to record a single point in the opener. Even after the big win to tie the series, he believes the team still has to find another gear to keep pushing further.
“Stay locked in all the time. Go hard and play hard. Push ourselves to exhaustion. We have to play harder than we played last game,” said Lowry. “Every possession. Play at a pace, at a frequency where we’re playing hard. Make sure we know where we are in coverages and game plan wise, make sure we’re executing everything.”
The Raptors and Magic will go at it in Game 3 at 7pm ET on Friday night.
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