A day after a meltdown put them into a 1-0 second round hole against Cleveland, Raptors star DeMar DeRozan said his team needs to play like "some assholes" and grind it out against the Cavs, according to Toronto Sun reporter Ryan Wolstat. The reason? Well, the Cavs no longer have Kyrie Irving, which means they're now a team that also has to win via grit and hustle.
DeRozan's comments come less than 24 hours after Toronto dropped Game 1 in overtime at home to Cleveland by a score of 113-112. Toronto had an opportunity to win, but reserve guard Fred VanVleet (who had shot over 41 percent from three this season) was unable to sink a game-winning attempt from beyond the arc.
DeRozan added that he wasn't worried about VanVleet getting the last shot, as opposed to either himself or star teammate Kyle Lowry putting it up.
"I'll live with him shooting that shot 10 times out of 10," DeRozan said to reporters after the loss. "I told him, if we're in the same situation again, I'll make the same exact pass.... He's got tough skin. He's going to bounce back."
However, DeRozan was less pleased with the team's overall inability to sink shots down the stretch, which led to Toronto losing home-court advantage, at least for the moment.
"We had many opportunities to close this game out," he said when he was asked if the Raptors (the East's one-seed) let Game 1 slip away. "We couldn't buy a bucket, we got some great looks. We had a lot of shots point blank at the rim that were in and out."
That's not a good sign if you're Canadian.
Catch Game 2 Thursday evening.