The NBA Finals are all tied up going into Game 3, which shifts back to Golden State on Wednesday night. These two teams each took a game in the first two matchups in Toronto and will look to bounce back and take a lead in the series as these teams shift cities. This game is expected to start at around 9:00 PM Eastern time on ABC.
The Raptors finished out the regular season in second place of the Eastern Conference with a record of 58-24. Toronto went on to meet up with the Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers and the Milwaukee Bucks in the first three rounds, winning all three series. The Raptors are now looking to take home their first-ever NBA title. Toronto will need to steal a game on the road if they want to do so.
Golden State once again finished at the top of the Western Conference standings. The Warriors ended the regular season with a record of 57-25. Golden State knocked out the Los Angeles Clippers, Houston Rockets, and the Portland Trail Blazers to reach their fifth straight NBA Finals. The Warriors will look to earn their fourth NBA Final Championship in the last five years. Golden State will look to take the lead as it shifts back to their home.
The Raptors and the Warriors met up twice during the regular season, with Toronto taking both meetings. Both teams have gotten much better since those regular-season meetings and they will look to win three more games to enter the offseason as champions. I expect both teams to come out fast in Game 3 to try and control early.
Game 1 of the NBA Finals was hosted by the Raptors on May 30. Steph Curry dropped 34 points, while Klay Thompson added another 21 points. Draymond Green had a triple-double with 10 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists. Pascal Siakam went off for 32 points on the other side, while Kawhi Leonard and Marc Gasol each dropped over 20 points for Toronto. The Raptors were able to finish with a 118-109 win at home.
The second game of the NBA Finals were on June 2 in Toronto again. Kawhi Leonard had a dominant performance with 34 points and 14 rebounds. Fred VanVleet had 17 points off the bench, but it was not enough. Klay Thompson had 25 points, while Steph Curry had 23. Draymond Green finished with 17 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists. The Warriors were able to tie up the series with a 109-104 win on the road.
The first two games in Toronto were really close matchups as both teams battled back and forth. Game 3 will be in Golden State, which could help shift some more momentum towards them. Both teams have been able to win at home and on the road throughout the playoffs though and I expect the Raptors to try and control the pace early in their road game.
Three Point Shooting
The Raptors were a solid three-point shooting team throughout the regular season. Toronto was able to sink around 36.6 percent of their shots from behind the arc in the regular season. The Raptors held opposing teams to a three-point shooting percentage of 34.5 percent. In the postseason, Toronto has been draining around 34.4 percent of their shots from deep.
Golden State’s three-point identity continued again throughout this season. The Warriors were able to make around 38.5 percent of their shots from behind the three-point line. Golden State’s three-point defense held their opponents to a three-point percentage of 34.7 percent. The Warriors have been able to make 37.2 percent of their three-point shots in the regular season.
These two teams are both strong teams at shooting the three-point shot this season. They have been able to continue this into the playoffs. The Warriors have been the better three-point shooting team in the regular season, but it has been the Raptors who have had the better defense. This will lead to the classic battle at the three-point line.
The Raptors have been led by Kawhi Leonard who has averaged around 30.9 points and 9 rebounds per game throughout this playoff run. Pascal Siakam has also done a great job this postseason run with 19 points and 7 rebounds per game. Kyle Lowry has done a good job, averaging 14.2 points per game and being a huge leader for his team.
Steph Curry continues to be the heartbeat of this team as he has averaged around 27.5 points, 6 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game. Klay Thompson is averaging around 19.5 points per game at the Shooting Guard spot. Draymond Green has been back to filling out that third-star spot with Kevin Durant out. Green has averaged 13.5 points, 10 rebounds and 8.5 assists per game, while also being a leader on the court.
These teams have their star players, but like all NBA Finals, have had their share of players step up in some games. With Klay Thompson questionable for Game 3, the Warriors will need someone to step up to match up with Steph Curry. Toronto will look for someone like Marc Gasol or Fred VanVleet to put up a tough performance to give the Raptors a necessary edge to steal a road game.
These two teams have each had their moments throughout the first two games of the series. The Raptors will look to take advantage of the hurt Golden State team. If Klay Thompson it out, I believe that it will leave the door wide open for Toronto to retake the lead in the series. The Warriors could start to get healthy towards the end of the series, so the Raptors will look to build up a lead now.
BetOnline has Golden State listed as a -4.5 against the spread. I believe that this is a solid spread. It is a tough call to make with Thompson questionable, but either way, I think the Warriors will ride their home fans. They will look for Curry to lead them again with Durant still out, but Curry has been hot. I believe that Golden State will be able to pull away towards the end and take the lead in the Finals.