Title: Raptor Recalibration, Game 4: Regression, borrowing from each other and more
Date: September 6, 2020
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic, my playoff day-after playoff column broke down the Raptors evening their series with the Celtics at 2-2.
There is a chant that wrestling fans hold as the highest honour they can bestow upon a match: “Fight Forever.”
While those fans are accused at times of trying to get themselves over with ill-timed or unnecessary chants, “Fight Forever” has remained mostly a hallowed refrain. To earn a “Fight Forever,” two wrestlers must be in an intense, evenly matched and entertaining battle. These are your Hart-Austin, your Michaels-Ramon, your FTR-DIY. These are your Raptors-Celtics.
This was a series it seems everyone wanted. Raptors fans, Celtics fans, national writers, fans of the league who just want the highest potential for chaos. It stood to serve all of them. Game 1 was an uncomfortable opening that maybe that had been over-hyped. The three games since — culminating with a 100-93 Raptors victor Saturday to tie the series at 2-2 — have fit the bill, all three ranking as at least four-star showdowns that have now set the table for what could be a wild best two-of-three to decide who’s headed to the Eastern Conference Finals.
You had to expect some big swings, emotionally and in terms of odds. The big question that flows from here is whether this is a true comeback for the Raptors or whether it’s merely a convincing hope spot before the Celtics get a shoulder up at 2.9. Game 5 is, uh, a big one.