I hate to be one to overreact, especially with so many people on sports-talk radio and tv shows already doing it, but based on last night’s performance, I can see Toronto beating the Warriors in this series. It will be a 7-game series for sure, but based on last night’s game, Toronto winning this series doesn’t seem as far fetched to me as it used to.
Outside of Curry (34 pts.), Klay Thompson (21 pts. 5 rebs.), and Draymond Green (10 rebs. 10 ast. 10 pts.) Golden State didn’t really get much production out of their players. Nobody else scored in double figures. I understand that this is pretty much the norm for the Warriors, but it doesn’t seem like that type of thing is going to play well against a team who seems to be as tuned in on the defensive end as this Toronto Raptors team. I will say this…. I don’t think Curry, Green, or Klay played great games. But the numbers they put up last night are usually more than enough to beat most teams. The Raptors had five players score in double digits last night, including 15 pts from Fred Van Fleet off the bench. Pascal Siakam dropped 32 pts. to go along with 8 rebs. and Kawhi Leonard added 23 pts. The Raptors held an 11 point lead at the half and managed to fight off multiple runs by the Warriors in the 3rd and 4th quarters. Honestly, I never got the feeling that Golden State was going to get over the hump last night, even when they briefly took the lead in the 3rd quarter. Neither team shot particularly well from the floor last night. I suspect that the Warriors won’t have too many more 34-78 from the field and 12-31 from 3pt range shooting nights in this series. But, I’m still not convinced that a better shooting night would’ve changed last night’s outcome. By the way, the Raptors weren’t much better from the field (39-77 fg & 13-33 3pt.). I think the problem is that the Warriors don’t seem to match up well with this Raptors team. I know it’s weird to say that, but that’s what it looks like to me….especially off the bench.
With all of that said, disregard everything I just typed if KD comes back at some point in this series. I’ve heard reports that he’ll be back for game-2 and I’ve heard reports that he’ll be back for game-3. I’m just going to wait and see. But, if Durant comes back, the Warriors don’t lose another game in this series. The Raptors….or any other team in the league for that matter, do not have an answer for KD. Just his presence on the court opens things up for the other players on the Warriors team. That’s not even counting the damage he does out there on his own. KD is a matchup nightmare that there is no answer for. If KD comes back for game-2, I have the Warriors 4-1. If KD comes back for game-3, I have the Warriors 4-2. If KD doesn’t come back at all, I have it a 4-3 toss-up….you pick the winner!