Golden State Warriors
This series is about over for the Golden State Warriors and only a miracle can change that. They have put up a valiant fight and maximum effort but just couldn’t overcome some untimely and unfortunate circumstances. The Toronto Raptors haven’t exactly cooperated either, they have played well and with great composure led by possible Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard.
Keys to the game
Golden State will need at least five players in double figures to have a chance to stave off elimination. A breakout shooting performance from three-point range would go a long way towards getting a win but it can’t all be on Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. They must protect the ball and cut down on careless turnovers, every possession counts.
On defense, it’s all about heart and pride and the Warriors must find a way to get stops. Forget about numbers or percentages, their team has to have an unwavering will to do whatever it takes to get to Game 6. With their backs against the wall, there is no time for mental breakdowns or missed assignments.
Toronto’s formula is simple, provide solid support to Kawhi’s spectacular play. Attacking the basket has been a major reason for them controlling the games, where they are outshooting Golden State from the free throw line. The Raptors must move the ball to get quality shots and that starts with Leonard passing out of double teams.
Defensively, the Raptors need to lock in on Curry and Thompson with no other Warrior proving they can hurt them. Guarding the three-point line is essential to there success by disrupting any Golden State rhythm. Keeping their fouls and turnovers to a minimum won’t allow the Warriors to go on or stop a run.
The x-factors for Golden State will be Andre Igudoula and Kevon Looney. Igudoula has the necessary experience and big game capability to positively influence the game on both ends. Looney will need to be a major factor on offense by scoring when given the chance and finishing to help them see another game.
The x-factors for Toronto will be Marc Gasol and Kyle Lowry. Close out games require veterans to perform well with the amount of pressure they bring. Both Gasol and Lowry are experienced players who have the ability to come up big in key moments.
Prediction– Golden State just doesn’t have the man power to stop Toronto. The Raptors will eventually pull away and win their first ever NBA championship in franchise history. It will be even sweeter doing it at home in front of their rabid fan base.