When the worst-case scenario hits, a basketball team goes into damage minimization mode.

Don’t suffer any more injuries. Don’t concede anything in trying to survive that proves irreparable later. If you’re lucky, find a silver lining or two, whether it’s players getting more experience or someone unexpectedly stepping up. If you’re beyond moral victories, fine, but find something in the valley you can take with you for the climb back up. And if you’re really lucky or have the right combination of makeup and circumstance? Well, maybe you can even reduce the harm to your place in the standings.

“Listen, I’ve kind of said this the last couple weeks in this scenario: We’re gonna have to somehow piece this thing together,” Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse said before Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bulls. “I’m really hoping to pick off one of these games until the troops can get back.





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