Good morning everybody happy Monday and welcome back to another edition of Last Night In The NBA where we bring you up to speed on everything that went down from the night before in the Association. After a somewhat surprising performance in Game 1, I think we were all interested to see how the Warriors would counter and if the Raptors could even repeat anything close to their dominant win to open this series. You sort of knew GS would look a little better since they weren’t coming off a gigantic layoff, and at the end of the day I think we all just want a competitive series. Well things are certainly headed in that direction and if you missed any of the action here’s what happened.
(1) Golden State Warriors 109 vs (2) Toronto Raptors 104
Here’s what we know. When you have the opportunity to really put the Warriors up against it, you have to take advantage. Giving this team even a sliver of life is going to end up poorly for you 10/10 times and this series is a perfect example. Much like in Game 1 the Raptors got off to a great start. Kawhi got back on track and had 16 big first half points, they shot well and looked like a team well on their way to going up 2-0.
On the defensive end it looked like they once again cracked the Warriors code. In that first half outside of the Splash Brothers everyone else again looked rather human, and the team had 40/37% splits with 9 TOs. That’s the version of the Warriors that can be had and while they ended the second quarter with a little momentum you still had to love where you were at as a Raptors fan. Mostly because your starting backcourt hadn’t even gotten going up until that point.
The biggest difference in Game 2 though? The same guys that were lights out and carried TOR in Game 1, had a come back down to earth moment. Not Fred VanVleet, that man is still balling his face off
But Marc Gasol who was huge in Game 1 finished with just 6 points on 2-7 shooting. Pascal Siakam, someone who the internet was ready to crown Finals MVP after his Game 1 performance finished with 12 points on 5-18 shooting. Listen in order to beat this GS team those two are basically going to have to be flawless and it’s no surprise that Draymond Green owned that Siakam matchup and look who won the game.
There’s also this one minor factor. To beat GS you don’t just have to get consistent strong play from your supporting cast, but you also need to find a way to survive the Warriors 3rd Quarter Bukkake. Both of those things happened in Game 1 so it’s no surprise the Raptors won it. Last night? Not so much. The game turned in the 3rd quarter when the Warriors went on that giant 18-0 run which was the longest start to a half in Finals history. The Raptors nearly went half the quarter without scoring, and that’s a problem. After going on a similar drought in the fourth quarter over the last 5-6 minutes, you can’t help but feel that the Raptors blew this prime opportunity to go up 2-0. Sure the Warriors defense deserves a ton of credit, but playing at home and tossing up 29/27% second half splits with 8 TOs, well that’s never going to end well for you.
For GS, once again the Splash Brothers did the heavy lifting before Klay got hurt
Losing Kevon Looney is also pretty important for them, but it hurts less if we get the version of Boogie we saw in Game 2. In Game 1 he was virtually unplayable which makes a little sense since he hadn’t played in forever, but last night he actually made a legit impact and could be a big time factor if Looney is forced to miss some time
You combine that with the much improved all around performance from Draymond and this result isn’t all that surprising. Klay said they would respond like the champions they are, and you look at how the Warriors supporting cast showed up on the road in a huge game and you can’t help but think of their veteran championship experience. This is a team that did not panic, Draymond got back to doing Draymond things
Quinn Cook came off the bench and made three huge 3s and when it was time for someone to step up and close this thing out, of course Iggy was there for a gigantic Finals three. That’s what he does. The man is clutch as hell in late game situations in the playoffs
Doesn’t get much better than that
Now everything about Game 1, the huge Raptors crowd, all the Drake shit talking, the huge win, none of that matters. The Warriors goal was to split and regain homecourt and that’s exactly what they’ve done. Oh right and they could potentially add Kevin Durant to the mix. Now who knows how hurt Klay is and that will obviously play a role, but things went from potential disaster to perfect scenario rather quickly for GS. Now the Raptors role players are going to be forced to show up at Oracle which isn’t exactly easy, and all I know is they can’t come back to TOR 3-1 if we all want this to be a long series.
Unfortunately we have to wait until Wednesday to find out because the NBA hates us and makes us wait 10,000 days in between games, but that’s everything that went down last night. Have a great Monday!