Regular season series overview Raptors VS Warriors
Regular season matchup- 2 games played. Raptors 2 Warriors 0
Finals Preview: The Lineups
Warriors starting 5: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Draymond Green, Andrew Bogut
Raptors Starting 5: Kyle Lowry, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol
As of writing this preview a timetable for both Kevin Durant and Demarcus Cousins hasn’t been given. Durant is listed as out for game 1 and Cousins as questionable. I am going to base my prediction as best as I can with those players set to return.
I should start off by saying I think the Warriors are still a very good team without Kevin Durant and are very capable to win this series without him. With saying that however for this series and this series in particular they will need him to return. The Blazers during that WCF just didn’t have any gas left in the tank to give the Warriors a run even without KD in the lineup. Now my reason for why they need him to return is different then what most will say. They need him to return so they can add depth back to the bench! Having to start Iguodala shortens an already short group off the bench for this Warrior team. And with any foul trouble to the big 3 forces Steve Kerr to have to turn to reserves like Cook, Bell, and Looney who have been used sparingly during this playoff run. At one point during the WCF with Curry and Green in early foul trouble, Kerr had to put a lineup out of Cook, Thompson, Iguodala, Bell, and Looney. While that lineup is capable to keep a lead against the Blazers. The Raptors would feast (what a pun!) on that 5. Insert KD into that lineup and it looks a little more like Cook, Thompson, Iguodala, Durant, and Looney. That’s a much better group on the floor and would still be able to give the Raptors a solid run on the floor.
On the flipside the Raptors are playing some of the best basketball they’ve played all season. Coming off that highly contested 7 game series vs the 76ers. A lot of people thought that maybe they just didn’t have anything left to give the NBA’s best overall record Milwaukee Bucks a run. On the contrary the Raptors lead by Leonard were able to get a six game series win to close things out. Leonard played out of his freaking mind in this series. Having to not only be the primary scorer for the Raptors but often matching up against Giannis. Which I thought the Raptors would avoid as to not overload Leonard during the series. His matchup in this series will be a little easier given he will probably (at least for game 1) start on Iguodala. I am sure you will also see him matchup with Thompson and possibly even Curry during moments of the game. The raptors would be smart to try and attack Curry on the defensive end (I know some real insight here!) and cause him to get into foul trouble. Not only for the sake of getting him out of the game but for the reasons mentioned above. The Warriors just don’t have the same depth that the Raptors do. And should try to exploit that during the course of this series.
Warriors: When Do Kevin Durant and Demarcus Cousins return? And if they don’t who steps up in their places
Steph Curry needs to continue to play a high clip
Raptors: Leonard’s dominance needs to continue on both ends
Taking advantage of the Warriors lack of depth
Warriors in 7