Last Updated: 2019-06-02
If there was a “Round One” of a battle between Draymond Green and Pascal Siakam in the NBA Finals, it went to the Toronto Raptors’ forward, who is the presumptive Most Improved Player award winner.
And if there’s going to be a “Round Two,” Green is determined to write a different script.
“I got to take him out of the series and that’s on me,” he says.
In the Golden State Warriors’ 118-109 loss, Green made two field goals, six turnovers and failed to pull down an offensive rebound. Siakam, on the other hand, shot 14 of 17 from the field and had 32 points, eight rebounds, five assists and a couple of blocked shots.
I don’t think we’re going to get an exact replica of Siakam’s exploits, and when you hear that Green is taking that personally, you know someone is REALLY throwing down the gauntlet.
Golden State will once again be without Kevin Durant, who has a partially torn calf muscle. They are optimistic that he could be ready by Game 4, and the Warriors are obviously banking on the proposition that it could still be a series then.
This game tips off at 8:05 PM ET on Sunday at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. ABC televises it, and BetAnySports customers can place wagers even while the action is in progress, accessing Live Betting Ultra for that purpose.
In the NBA Finals odds on this game, which include reduced juice, the Raptors are favored once again:
Toronto Raptors -2 (-107)
Golden State Warriors +2 (-103)
Over 214.5 points (-101)
Under 214.5 points (-109)
Game 1 saw the return of some “3 and D” out of Danny Green, who finished second in the league shooting from long range (45.5%) and made three triples. And we’d say there is some upside for Kawhi Leonard, who made just five of 14 shots from the field. The Warriors were intent on stopping him. But now they have Siakam to worry about, perhaps more than they anticipated.
I guess the idea that the Warriors might have been a little rusty had some credence. They didn’t start off sharply, shooting just 30.4% in the first quarter. But then they warmed up in the second half, making 19 of their 37 shots.
Their problem was that Toronto shot that same 19 of 37 in the second half themselves. In fact, they hit 55.6% from the field after the first quarter. They also made six more field goals in the paint, and caused a lot of problems for the Warriors with their transition game.
But there are some metrics that really seemed to work for the Dubs. For one thing, they got assists on 29 of their 34 field goals (an insane 85.3%) and barely missed another 30-assist games, which would have been their 25th in the playoffs over the last five seasons. This shows that they are moving the ball around pretty well without Kevin Durant. In fact, their Offensive Efficiency rating with or without Durant is just about the same. So when it comes down to it, their problem on offense is that they just didn’t make enough shots early. Shaking off the rust might correct that.
Defensively, we should mention that Andre Iguodala, another Warrior with a calf problem, is questionable for this game. If he can’t make post, who will replace him in the starting lineup and provide defense?
Draymond is, of course, going to have to being more of that kind of thing to the table, and he’s well aware of it. But even in the wake of what he considering an embarrassing performance, it’s worth pointing out that he still registered a triple-double (10 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists), with the best assist percentage and defensive rebounding percentage on the floor, while Siakam, interestingly enough, had a plus-minus figure of just +4.
In Game 1, the Raptors shot 50% for the first time in 14 games. Can they do it twice in a row against a charged-up squad?
We continue to have faith in the Warriors, and if they win on Sunday, that would make them a bargain right now at -140 to win the series. As far as what will happen in Game 2, well, Golden State, even without Durant, might be expected to come out with some resolve. And when coming off a loss, they have covered the spread in the first half ten of the last 12 times. They’re getting a point here (at even money) for the first half spread. Let’s go there.
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