Golden State Warriors
The Warriors stole what was a bizarre game 5 with an incredibly gutsy performance. Steph Curry continued his excellent Finals series so far, adding 31 points to go with 8 rebounds and 7 assists. Klay Thompson also provided a much-needed scoring boost, adding 26 points and 6 boards of his own. Kevin Durant looked good in his 12 minutes of action, putting up 11 quick points before suffering a disastrous Achilles injury. Draymond Green continues to fill up the box score, again falling just 2 assists shy of a triple-double.
Being up by 6 points with 2:30 to go at home to win the NBA title and then failing to close it out is a mega gut punch. The Raptors offence was less efficient in game 5, although Kawhi still led the way with 26 points, 12 boards, and 6 assists. Kyle Lowry was one of the better Raptors on the night, putting up 18 points and 6 assists, despite an atrocious game-winner attempt late on. Both Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka continue to dominate on the interior, combining for 32 points and 14 boards.
Prediction: Raptors +4
In what I consider to be a coin-flip type of game, I think the value is on Toronto getting 4 points in this one. While I do think the fans will bring it for the last game at Oracle, the Raptors have been excellent on the road so far, winning a key road game in each series. Kawhi Leonard is the best player on the floor right now and I think Golden State will struggle to guard him, especially with KD’s injury. I also expect Toronto to shoot much better from deep in this one, having only managed 25% in game 5. This should be a tight affair that could go either way late, so I’ll happily take the security of 4 points with the Raptors.
Even on a relatively off night by his lofty standards, Kawhi Leonard was still very good in game 5. He was getting anything he wanted offensively down the stretch and looked set to carry Toronto to a title before a curious timeout by Nick Nurse. Both Andre Iguodala and Klay Thompson don’t appear to be at 100% after their injuries, also making Kawhi’s job on offence much easier. He has been consistent both at home and away throughout these playoffs and this series, going for 30+ in games 3 and 4 at Oracle. Especially if he gets 24 shots and 8 free throws again, I think a more efficient night takes him to 30 or more points.