The NBA has Game 4 of the NBA Finals set to tip off on Friday night. The Toronto Raptors and the Golden State Warriors will continue their battle to be crowned NBA Champions at the end of the season. Both teams have been doing well so far and I expect them to continue to put up strong performances. These two teams will tip off their game at around 9:00 PM Eastern time on ABC on June 7.
The Raptors finished out the regular season with a record of 58-24, which put them in second place of the Eastern Conference. Toronto then met up with the Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers and the Milwaukee Bucks in the first three rounds of the playoffs and were able to knock out all three teams. The Raptors are now two wins away from an NBA Championship.
Golden State ended the regular season in the top spot of the Western Conference with a record of 57-25. The Warriors beat out the Los Angeles Clippers, Houston Rockets, and Portland Trail Blazers to reach this point in the postseason. Golden State needs three more wins to win their third straight NBA Final and they’re fourth in the last five seasons. The Warriors will look to earn one of those at home on Friday night.
These two teams have made it this far into the postseason for a reason. The Raptors own a 2-1 series lead so far, but the Warriors will come back strong looking to tie it up. I expect both teams to play another quick paced game with a lot of ball movement. With Golden State getting Klay Thompson back, they will look to even the series up.
The Toronto Raptors hosted the first game of this series on May 30. Steph Curry dropped 34 points, while Klay Thompson put up a 21 point performance. Draymond Green had 10 points, 10 assists, and 10 rebounds. Pascal Siakam was the surprise hero for the Raptors. Siakam had 32 points and Kawhi Leonard had 23 points. Marc Gasol had another 20 points as Toronto put up an impressive 118-109 win at home.
The second game of the NBA Finals was on June 2 in Toronto. Kawhi Leonard had another strong performance as he dropped 34 points. Fred VanVleet had 17 points off the bench, which was still not quite enough. Klay Thompson had 25 points, while Stephen Curry had another 23 points. The Warriors had an 18-0 run to start out the second half to take the lead. Golden State then carried that lead to a 109-104 win to tie up the series.
Game 3 of the NBA Finals shifted to Golden State on June 5. Steph Curry put up a jaw-dropping 47 points, but he did not have much support. Draymond Green had 17 points, but the Warriors could not get the win. Kawhi Leonard had 30 points, while Kyle Lowry had a total of 23 points. Toronto’s starting lineup dropped 106 points as the Raptors pulled off an impressive 123-109 win to retake the series lead.
The Toronto Raptors have been able to put up a 2-1 series lead, which has been impressive against the reigning NBA Champions. Toronto has been able to take advantage of the Warriors missing some players due to injury. The Raptors have been moving the ball really well, which has helped them find open shots against a tough Warriors defense.
Field Goal Shooting Percentage
The Raptors finished out the regular season with a shooting percentage of 47.4 percent from the field, which was fifth best in the NBA. Toronto’s defense held their opponents to a 44.9 percent shooting percentage from the field, which was also fifth best. The Raptors have been able to drain around 44.4 percent of their shots in the playoffs.
Golden State had the best shooting percentage from the field in the regular season, making around 49.1 percent of their shots. The Warriors defense was extremely strong in the regular season as well, holding opposing teams to a shooting percentage of 44.4 percent. In the postseason, Golden State has been able to make around 47.9 percent of their shots, which has been the best out of all the playoff teams.
These two teams have both been extremely efficient when shooting from the field. What was also impressive, was their abilities to defend the opposing teams from the field as well. Neither team has put up as high of percentages in the playoffs, but that comes from playing tougher defenses and only the top teams. I expect them to both look to get an edge in this category as the series progresses.
Kawhi Leonard has been on a tear throughout these playoffs, averaging around 31 points and 9 rebounds per game. Pascal Siakam has been efficient as well in this postseason run, averaging 19 points and 7 rebounds per game. Kyle Lowry has been a big team leader as he has averaged around 14.5 points and 6.5 assists per game.
Steph Curry’s game has elevated to new heights as more of the team has been placed on his back. He has averaged around 28.5 points per game in this postseason run. Klay Thompson should be back in the lineup on Friday night. He is averaging around 19.5 points per game in the playoffs. Draymond Green has been doing well also, putting up an average of 13.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 8 assists per game.
These two teams have had their top players performing throughout the playoffs, while having players rotate and step up when needed. The Warriors should benefit greatly from Thompson returning to the lineup as he adds some shooting strength beside Curry. I expect that to help tilt the tables in favor of Golden State.
These two teams have shown how closely matched they are on many occasions. They finished one game apart in the standings and have played three good games so far in the NBA Finals. I expect Golden State to bounce back though after taking a tough loss at the hands of Toronto in Game 3. The Warriors have been good at home and I expect that to show on Friday night.
BetOnline has Golden State listed as a -4 ½ against the spread. The Warriors will be without Kevin Durant again, and the more it goes on, the more it seems like he will not play in these Finals. Golden State has shown they can do it without him and they will need to prove it again if they want to avoid being pushed to the brink of elimination.