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Can Toronto Complete the Comeback?

Toronto Raptors Bismack Biyombo

Let’s be honest: the NBA has never led the charge in the parity department. The “Get into the playoffs and anything can happen” mentality just hasn’t seemed to translate to professional hoops, as superstar-laden teams tend to dominate year in and year out.

Except for the 2016 postseason, that is.

Heading into the first round, teams that were trailing 0-2 in NBA playoff series history won just 16 times out of 270 attempts. After dropping the first two games of the Eastern Conference finals to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Toronto Raptors claimed both contests in Canada and travel back to northeast Ohio tied with the wine and gold at two games apiece.

As of May 24, squads in that spot have gone 12-15 after going down 0-2. In the 2016 playoffs, the Portland Trail Blazers were the only group to advance to the next round after going down 0-2 thanks to four straight victories over the injury-ravaged Los Angeles Clippers. The Blazers became just the third team since 2008 to climb out of a two-game hole and proceed to win the series.

Unlike the Cavs, Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder, the Raptors possess no superstars. Instead they have a dynamic backcourt, deep bench and phenomenal team chemistry.

It’s going to take a herculean effort to win two games in Cleveland. But this year’s postseason will provide hope to anyone who’s backing the Raps to complete the comeback. Losing the opening pair of games in a playoff series does not mean that team is dead in the water anymore.

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