Get your game face on: Raptors look to bounce back against Bucks on home turf
Game 3 of Eastern Conference Finals tonight at Scotiabank Arena downtown
It's not quite do-or-die, but it certainly feels like it in Toronto.
Raptors fans are preparing for a big night Sunday as the team looks to dig itself out of a two-game hole on home turf against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Game 3 of the best-of-seven Eastern Conference finals kicked off at 7 p.m. at a sold-out Scotiabank Arena.
Outside the arena, Jurassic Park was packed as the Raptors looked for their first win of the series. Four hours before tip-off, fans were already lining up for a spot in front of the big screen television.
Where are you watching <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Game3?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Game3</a> tonight? <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WetheNorth?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WetheNorth</a> <a href="https://t.co/W7ibYMDuUb">pic.twitter.com/W7ibYMDuUb</a>—@CBCToronto
While the excitement in the city is palpable, there's no question that the Raptors face an uphill battle.
In the Raptors' 24-year history, the team has never managed to claw its way back from a 2-0 playoff series deficit.
A great work of art in Canoe Landing Park. Tonight we’re bringing it home, let’s go <a href="https://twitter.com/Raptors?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Raptors</a>! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WeTheNorth?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WeTheNorth</a> <a href="https://t.co/fIhcNhvIFp">pic.twitter.com/fIhcNhvIFp</a>—@JohnTory
Fans are hopeful that a return to the North will give the Raps the edge they've struggled to find against 'The Greek Freak' Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks — the winningest team in the NBA during the regular season. Game 1 was hard fought, but Game 2 turned into an ugly 125-103 route for the Raptors at Milwaukee's Fiserv Forum.
Since the current playoff format was introduced in 1984, teams with a two-game advantage heading into Game 3 have won the series 94 per cent of the time.
Maple Leaf Square. 5:00pm.<br><br>Won't wanna miss this party tonight. <br><br>See you there. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WeTheNorth?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WeTheNorth</a> <a href="https://t.co/AKGDgsB9WU">pic.twitter.com/AKGDgsB9WU</a>—@Raptors
But Raptors coach Nick Nurse said this past week that he doesn't "give a crap" that the odds are against Toronto.
Nurse has floated the possibility of tweaking his line up for Sunday night, but said at the last minute he would keep his starters in place.
Analysts seem to agree that the Raptors need to put up more points and improve their rebounding, and that the bench needs to better support stars Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry.