Title: Raptors should be able to derive value from shorthanded loss to Nuggets
Date: December 17, 2018
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about some silver linings the Raptors can take away from a split-squad loss to Denver.
Back in 280 and 279 B.C., my dude Pyrrhus of Epirus saw his army pull off a pair of upset victories over the Romans. They were something like 10-point underdogs, and that was on neutral ground in southern Italy. It wasn’t quite the 2007 We Believe Warriors upsetting the Mavericks, but taking a 2-0 series lead was huge. In the process, though, Pyrrhus’ army was decimated in relative terms. While they caused more Roman casualties than they suffered, the Romans had a far deeper pool of talent to draw from and, had the war continued, Pyrrhus feared that, “Another such victory and I come back to Epirus alone.” His anxieties proved prescient, as Rome would declare a series victory in 275.
The feud lent itself to the term Pyrrhic victory in which one side suffers losses so great as to weaken itself for future victories.
There is, as best I can tell, no opposite scenario. Terms like moral victory exist, but as we know from Hova, those are for minor league coaches, and Nick Nurse ain’t in the G League any longer. The Raptors, with the best record in basketball, are too advanced for such terms, anyway. You could call what the Raptors experienced Sunday against the Denver Nuggets, I suppose, an Irenic victory or a Pyhrric defeat.