In what will be the last game in Oracle Arena, the Raptors won their first championship. They become the first team to win with five road wins. Lowry led the way scoring eight points in two minutes. He finished with 26 points 10 assists and 7 rebounds. Leonard with 22 points. VanVleet came off the bench for 22 points, 12 of those points in the fourth quarter.
The Warriors suffered the onslaught despite having six turnovers and ten turnovers in the first half. Then they lost Klay Thompson in the third quarter with a knee injury. Steph Curry had 21 points on 3-10 shooting from three. Draymond Green had 11 points 19 rebounds, and 13 assist in their loss.
The game came close in the end as the Warriors inbound to Curry who miss a three to take the lead by two. The loose ball was recovered in the final seconds by Draymond Green who called a timeout, but with no timeouts, the Warriors were charged with a technical foul. Leonard hit the free throw to put them up by two and then Lowry inbound to Leonard who was fouled. He hit the final two free throws and that was all she wrote.
The narrative will be that the Raptors only won because of the injuries of Durant and then Thompson. Although there is no denying that a healthy Warriors team most likely would of won, The Raptors were a consistent defensive team and prove that they are worthy of the title.
Lowry, the longest tenured Raptor, had faced many playoff disappointments, can now cherished all the tears and hard work. Leonard now hoist his second championship and is now arguably the third best player in the league. For Ibaka and Gasol who were on contenders they now have their rings as well. The Raptors made the moves of firing coach of the year Dwane Casey and hired rookie head coach Nick Nurse (who now becomes the third straight rookie coach to win a championship.) Then they traded DeMar DeRozan for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green. Moves that proved to be worth it as Toronto celebrates the championship win.
Leonard was presented the 2019 Bill Russell Finals MVP. He credit his life experiences and teammates for the season. He celebrates his second championship with Danny Green.
Toronto enjoy your win, you deserve beating one of the best teams ever.
Imagine you are the Golden State Warriors. This is your fifth straight NBA Finals. The last four you had to face The King and his Cavaliers. You lost once to them in your attempt to go back to back by blowing a 3-1 lead. You go out and sign arguably the second best player in Kevin Durant. You won two championships. This past year you sign DeMarcus Cousins another all-star caliber player which should but all secure this year championship.
Then something happens. Your heart, Draymond Green gets into a spat with Durant in what is a contract year. Klay Thompson is also a free agent after this year. Cousins get hurt. You managed to get into the playoffs and do what you do. Dominate. Win. Remind everyone that you are the defending champions. Yeah, the Clippers made it interesting in their fight against you, but you knew you were going to win. The Rockets? Keep James locked up and they can’t produce. The Blazers? Who upset the Nuggets? They’re young and up-comers, but not really a threat. Even with Durant injured now, you know your opponent will be the Raptors or the Bucks. Mainly the Bucks.
The Bucks blow a two win lead and now you face the Raptors. A team that has been consistent. A team that really has only one player in Leonard. Leonard who might not be happy in Toronto and looking to leave. A team that fired the coach of the year from last year. A team with a point guard who has been absent in the playoffs. A roster that looks poised to lose.
Then they beat you in game 1 on their home turf. You are the Warriors. The Patriots of the NBA. You come back you win game 2 and surely with two home games you will take a 3-1 lead. Klay gets hurt in game 3. Cousins didn’t show up. Curry put up 47 points. You still lose. No worries, because Klay will be back for game 4. You keep the Raptors down, until the third where they start hitting shots and locking down your team. They win game 4. Now it’s your turn to be like the only team to beat you in the finals. You are down 3-1 and now in Toronto. A team craving their first championship. A team looking to keep their best player. A team with a point guard in Lowry looking to make his mark. What do you do?
You pray that Kevin Durant can play and tonight it seems he will. The question will be that even if he isn’t a 100%. Can he save you tonight? Can you win the series? If you do, does he stay or does he go?
NBA.Com has reported that Kevin Durant is listed as questionable. He might play after having a calf injury which sidelined him over a month now. If you are the Warriors, you are hoping he plays and helps out with scoring. Time will tell.
The Golden State Warriors will play the Toronto Raptors tonight at 9 P.M.
June 5, 2019
Toronto defeated the defending champions on the road to take a 2-1 lead of the series. Kawhi Leonard had 30 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists. Kyle Lowry showed up tonight with 23 points on 8-16 night and 9 assists. Serge Ibaka looked like his old OKC Thunder self and defending the rim with 6 blocks, 5 rebounds, and 2 steals.
They outscored the Warriors in all four quarters despite Steph Curry’s huge 47 points. They took advantage of the injuries of Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant. Kay is still questionable for the next game. His presence (Thompson) was missed both offensively and defensively.
Game 4 will be played on Friday.
Terrio’s Take: I’m a fan of Steph and it’s amazing to see the Warriors go to five straight finals. However, I’m a fan of the underdog. Toronto winning will cement Kawhi as one of the top three players in the NBA along with Curry and James. I think if Toronto wins, there is a good chance that Kawhi stays. it would also make the management look good with the decisions of trading for Kawhi (despite it being a free agent year) and trading away fan favorite DeMar DeRozan to the Spurs. Along with firing coach of the year Dwayne Casey. Kyle Lowry the longest tenured Raptor will finally achieved the dream that has alluded him the past three seasons due to LeBron James and the Cavs.
For Golden State, the return of Klay will light a fire in Game 4. They will be playing with home court advantage so it’s possible for the Warriors to even up the series. The question will be if he is 100% and if Demarcus Cousins shows up after a weak game 3. The Warriors bench is the problem which was deep years ago, but is weaker than the Raptors bench. Then there is Kevin Durant. If they win the championship, does he stay? Does Klay go? If they lose, does he stay or go? I have the feeling it doesn’t matter either way and I see Durant leaving. After all he has to prove he can do it with his own team, this is still Curry’s team.
With that being said I think with their momentum, deeper bench, and desire the Raptors will take game 4 and may end up winning the championship in Toronto. This may be the extinction event for the Warriors with the western conference getting stronger this past season.