Raptors vs Warriors: The Toronto Raptors did just that when they got the jump on the two-time defending NBA Champions with their 118-109 victory at Scotiabank Arena in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
That strategy certainly worked in the Western Conference Finals against the Portland Trail Blazers and in previous years when they took on the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals, but Steve Kerr and his players are going to have to change their game plan against the Toronto Raptors.
Toronto picked up a series-opening 118-109 win in Game 1 of the NBA’s championship series, and also dictated the pace throughout. The Raptors seemed to come through with key shots whenever they needed them and the Warriors had to react to Toronto’s offensive surges.
Instead of superstar Kawhi Leonard coming up with the big baskets, it was forward Pascal Siakam who came up with the dominating effort for the Raptors. Siakam scored 32 points on 14 of 17 shooting, and he also contributed eight rebounds and two blocked shots.
Raptors vs Warriors Live Stream Watch NBA Finals 2019 on 4k
Leonard was one of several key contributors, as he had 23 points, Marc Gasol scored 20 points and Fred VanVleet added 15 points.
The Warriors were somewhat limited in their offensive options in the opener. Stephen Curry was their high scorer with 34 points and fellow Splash Brother Klay Thompson had 21 points, but the Warriors struggled to find offense outside of those two stars.
The absence of Kevin Durant (calf sprain) did not hurt them in the final two games of their second-round series against the Houston Rockets or their sweep of the Blazers, but it was an obvious shortcoming in Game 1 against Toronto.
Even though the Warriors could not match the Raptors in Game 1, they should be more focused in Game 2. Look for the Warriors to fall behind in the first half and mount a strong comeback in the second. The deficit could easily be 10 points or more in the first half, but it won’t be as high as 16. Take the under in that prop option.