There’s No Bigger Move Than Going Small in These NBA Playoffs

The Raptors always knew they would go small in their second-round series against the Celtics—it was only a matter of when. That’s what Nick Nurse told The Athletic’s Blake Murphy after Toronto’s 125-122 double-overtime victory in Game 6 on Wednesday: “The thought process going in is it’s about three games in the making. I’ve been talking about doing it and getting to it for a long time, and I just had never found that or pulled the trigger until we got way down the other night.”

Nurse finally shifted Pascal Siakam to the 4 and OG Anunoby to the 5 with 8:22 left in the fourth quarter, and then rode that lineup the rest of the way. The small-ball lineup showed its worth immediately. Siakam and Anunoby, along with Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, and Norman Powell, made eight separate closeouts in their first possession on defense, forcing the Celtics to

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