The Raptors delivered an excellent performance in game 1, winning by 9 points and setting the stage for an exciting series. Pascal Siakam was particularly impressive, dropping 32 points on 14/17 shooting to go along with 8 boards and 5 assists. Despite an inefficient night from the field, Kawhi Leonard was also solid with 23 points, 8 boards, and 5 assists himself. Marc Gasol manned the interior nicely with 20 points and 7 boards, while Fred VanVleet continued his strong bench play with a further 15 points.
Golden State Warriors
While the long layoff likely contributed to it, game 1 was one of the worst Warriors performances I’ve seen in this era. Steph Curry was the only Warrior who could get anything going offensively, dropping 34 points to go along with 5 boards and 5 assists. Despite managing a triple-double, Draymond Green shot just 2/9 from the field and was bullied by Pascal Siakam on the other end. Klay Thompson also delivered 21 solid points, but Golden State likely need even more from him given their injuries. Kevin Durant is all but out for this one, although Iguodala looks set to play despite a rough looking hamstring injury.
Prediction: Draymond Green Over 12.5 Points
Although I do like the Warriors as +2.5-point underdogs here, the Iguodala injury has me steering clear of a spread play in this one. Even though he scored just 10 points, Draymond had the ball in his hands a ton in round 1. The Raptors are aggressively trapping Steph Curry, making Draymond the de facto playmaker on offence. He is getting plenty of wide open looks, especially from deep where he has been quite effective this postseason. I expect a much more confident Draymond in game 2, particularly on offence, where he should go for 13 or more points.
Tying in with my above point, I think a better Draymond performance in this one will limit Siakam’s offensive output. Siakam had a poor end to the series against Philly and largely struggled throughout the Conference Finals. Although his game 1 performance was unbelievable, I don’t think this is sustainable and that this line adjustment is just too much. I can’t see Golden State being much worse defensively than they were in game 1 and it starts with locking up Pascal Siakam.