This series is turning out to be a lot better than I thought it would be. I predicted this series would go 7-games if Durant did not play, but I didn’t expect any of those games to really be close. I thought if the Raptors won a game it would likely be one of those poor shooting games for the Warriors which would lead to a blowout. And I thought that if the Warriors came anywhere close to playing their type of game, that would lead to a Warriors blowout. Last night proved that I was wrong. I think the Warriors played their kind of game last night. They got double digit scoring out of 4 of their starting 5. Igoulda had 8 points, 6 assist, and 8 rebounds. (He also hit the game clinching shot with the shot clock running down). The Warriors also got pretty good production out of their bench, led by 9 points off of three big time three point shots from point guard Quinn Cook. The Warriors got some really good minutes out of Demarcus Cousins who was inserted into the starting lineup for last night’s game (28 min., 10 reb., 6 ast., 11 points). If I wouldn’t have watched the game, and had just checked the stats, I would’ve assumed that these stats would lead to the Warriors blowing out any opponent. But this game was close. The Warriors had a few double digit leads, but the Raptors fought back to get back into the game every time. The scrappy Raptors team was led by Kawhi Leonard who dropped 34 points and added 14 rebounds. Fred Van Fleet came up big off the bench once again with 17 points. The Warriors held off the late run by Toronto to take the win 109-104. Game-3 is on Wednesday. The Warriors are home for the next 2 games. Durant is expected to be back for game-3. If that happens, I don’t think the Raptors have a real shot at winning another game. Here’s some highlights from game-2 in Toronto.
Video courtesy: Ximo Pierto/Youtube
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!
The NBA draft lottery took place Tuesday night before the start of game-1 of the Western Conference Finals. The NBA draft lottery could’ve easily been renamed the Zion Williamson lottery, as that was the grand prize every team was hoping to take home. The New Orleans Pelicans won the grand prize last night. I’m not a Knicks fan, but I was actually hoping Zion ended up in NY. With Anthony Davis still asking for a trade, I would rather have seen Zion in a big market city. If the Pelicans find a way to get AD to stay in New Orleans, then I can get excited about Zion heading there. AD, Zion, Jrue Holiday, with guys like Julius Randle thrown into the mix would be pretty exciting to see. Anyway, here’s the order for the top 10 picks in this years’ NBA draft:
- New Orleans Pelicans
- Memphis Grizzlies
- New York Knicks
- Los Angeles Lakers
- Cleveland Cavaliers
- Phoenix Suns
- Chicago Bulls
- Atlanta Hawks
- Washington Wizards
- Atlanta Hawks
The Seattle Seahawks and star QB Russell Wilson agreed to a contract extension on Tuesday morning. The four-year $140 million deal makes Wilson the highest paid athlete in the NFL.
ESPN (@espn) reported, Wilson’s new deal came with a $65 million signing bonus. With the extension, Wilson will now be with Seattle at least through the 2023 NFL season. At 30 years-old, the Seahawks have likely locked up Wilson throughout his prime years with this extension. Wilson’s new deal includes a no-trade clause. Wilson’s contract breaks down to roughly $35 million per season. He surpasses Aaron Rodgers who previously help the title as highest paid NFL player, with an average annual salary of roughly $33.5 million. Wilson and the Seahawks had a midnight (Monday/Tuesday) deadline to get the deal done. Wilson announced that the deal had been done via video he posted to Twitter at around 12:15 am.