The NBA season in nearing a close as the Toronto Raptors can lift the Larry O’Brien Trophy on Thursday night. The Raptors will look to close out the series in Golden State against the Warriors on June 13. Toronto has been the better team to this point in the series, but the Warriors will look to keep their three peat hopes alive by forcing a Game 7. This game will tip off at around 9:00 PM Eastern time on ABC.
The Raptors finished out the regular season with a record of 58-24, which put them in second place of the Eastern Conference. Toronto was able to knock off the Orlando Magic in five games in the first round. The Raptors then played two tough series against the Philadelphia 76ers and the Milwaukee Bucks, but were able to advance in seven and six games respectively. Toronto will now look to take it all with one more win.
Golden State had another top spot finish in the Western Conference as they ended the regular season with a record of 57-25. The Warriors were then able to roll through the Los Angeles Clippers and the Houston Rockets in six games each. Golden State met with the Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference Finals and swept them to reach their fifth straight finals. Now the Warriors will need to climb out of their series deficit if they want to take home the Championship.
The Raptors and the Warriors met up with each other twice in the regular season, with Toronto taking both games. Toronto held a 3-1 series lead, but loss a nail biter in Game 5 at home. The Warriors are not going to give up easily and I expect them to come out fast at home in Game 6. I expect this series to have an exciting finish.
Game’s 1 and 2 were hosted by Toronto on May 30 and June 2. The first game of the NBA Finals was a good one. Stephen Curry dropped 34 points, while Klay Thompson put up an impressive 21 points. Pascal Siakam dropped 32 points with Kawhi Leonard’s 23 points to give the Raptors a 118-109 win. Kawhi Leonard dropped 34 points in Game 2, but it was not enough. Klay Thompson had 25 points and Steph Curry had 23 points as the Warriors tied up the series at 1-1 with a 109-104 win.
Game 3 and 4 shifted to Golden State. Steph Curry put up an outstanding 47 points in Game 3, but he did not have much support. Kawhi Leonard had 30 points, while Kyle Lowry put up 23 points. Toronto’s starting lineup combined for 106 points as they took a 123-109 win. Klay Thompson came back in Game 4 and put up 28 points. Curry had 27 points, but the Warriors fell again at home. Leonard had 36 points, while Serge Ibaka dropped 20 points off the bench as the Raptors won 105-92.
Game 5 was hosted by Toronto on June 10. Kawhi Leonard put up a 26 point performance. Kyle Lowry dropped another 18 points, but it was not enough. Steph Curry had 31 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists. Klay Thompson put up 26 points. Kevin Durant returned and dropped 11 points before having to leave after aggravating his injury. The Warriors were able to hold on at the buzzer to take a 106-105 win on the road.
The Raptors have been able to make around 44.3 percent of their shots from the field in the postseason. Toronto’s three-point shooting in the playoffs has been solid making 34.4 percent of their shots. In the finals though, the Raptors are shooting around 45 percent from the field and 34.1 percent from deep. Toronto will look to keep those numbers up.
Golden State’s shooting in the playoffs has been really solid, like it was in the regular season. The Warriors have been able to sink 37.3 percent of their shots from deep, while hitting around 47.7 percent of their shots from the field. Golden State has only been able to make 44 percent of their shots from the field in the Finals, but have been hitting around 38.2 percent of their shots from behind the arc.
The Warriors have continued to find their stroke from deep in the Finals, but they need to find a way to improve their shooting from inside the arc. Golden State has been the better shooting team over Toronto, and they need to find a way to regain that advantage. The Warriors will look to find ways to create space in Game 6 to get their open shots.
Kawhi Leonard has been on a mission throughout this postseason run. Leonard has averaged around 30.9 points and 9.2 rebounds per game. Pascal Siakam has dropped an average of 18.7 points and 7 rebounds per game. Kyle Lowry is averaging around 14.6 points and 6.5 assists per game. Marc Gasol has averaged around 9.7 points per game.
Stephen Curry is averaging around 28.5 points per game in this playoff run. Klay Thompson has averaged 20.3 points per game. Draymond Green has had a good postseason run as well. He has averaged 13.4 points, 9.7 rebounds and 8.3 assists per game. Andre Iguodala has been up and down, averaging around 9.2 points per game throughout the postseason.
The Warriors have had some players step up in Kevin Durant’s absence and they will need that to continue if they want to complete the comeback in the series. I expect Curry and Thompson to continue to lead the charge. Both players will need to find ways to create open shots to try and get going early on in the game.
Golden State has already dropped two home games in a row, and I do not believe that they will drop a third straight at home. The Warriors are coming off an impressive road win against Toronto and I believe that they will use that momentum to their advantage. Golden State needs to find a way to make more shots from inside the arc, but I believe that they will have a game plan for that.
BetOnline has the Warriors listed as a -3 against the spread. I believe that Golden State has a good chance to win this game and a three-point spread is not huge. The Warriors need to find a way to get things going early to avoid an early deficit. This will be the last ever game in Oracle Arena and the fans will be loud. This will help give Golden State an edge.