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Dwane Casey: Raptors must ‘play for pride’

Toronto Raptors v Golden State Warriors

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 28: Head coach Dwane Casey of the Toronto Raptors reacts during their game against the Golden State Warriors at ORACLE Arena on December 28, 2016 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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The Raptors – after revamping their offense to be more effective in the playoffs, after winning a franchise-record and Eastern Conference-best 59 games, after declaring this season championship or bust – have fallen behind 2-0 to the Cavaliers in their second round series with both losses in Toronto.

Raptors coach Dwane Casey:

One thing you have is pride. One thing you have is pride to go into Cleveland and play for pride. I don’t know what the history of down 0-2 is, but one thing I do know: Tonight wasn’t us, how we normally play for longer periods of time.

Playing for pride? That sounds like how a defeated team talks. How about playing to win?

That might be a tough sell, considering – despite Casey’s insistence otherwise – this is exactly how Toronto plays against the Cavs in the playoffs. The Raptors lost the most lopsided six-game series in NBA history to Cleveland two years ago then got swept by the Cavaliers last year.

Teams that have started a best-of-seven series with two home losses have won the series just 16% of the time. That’s far higher than the typical guess. The Raptors are still in this – but only if they believe they can win.