After an exciting Game 1, the NBA Finals continue. Later today, the Toronto Raptors host the Golden State Warriors in Game 2 of the series.
On Thursday, the Raptors beat the Warriors 118-109. The Raptors took advantage of their home floor and gained a 1-0 lead over the Warriors. In the franchise’s first ever Finals game, the Raptors pulled of the win. Today, the Raptors have a chance to take a 2-0 lead but the Warriors will look to tie the series. So, this game can go to either team.
Will Siakam Continue to Shine?
In Game 1, Pascal Siakam led the Raptors with 32 points, eight rebounds and two blocks. He also shot 82.4 percent from the field. Siakam’s 32 points were a playoff career-high and showed what he can do on a big stage. His performance in Game 1 included a perfect third quarter (6-for-6) and 11 straight makes from the field. The Most Improved Player candidate stepped up when his team needed him most.
The Raptors also received contributions from Kawhi Leonard, Marc Gasol, Fred VanVleet and Danny Green. Leonard scored 23 points on 5-of-14 shooting, Gasol had 20 points and seven rebounds, VanVleet had 15 points and Green had 11. The Raptors had solid games from other players but Siakam was the player that led the Raptors to victory.
Draymond Green of the Warriors spoke about Siakam’s performance and said he and the Warriors must be more aggressive defensively.
“I got to do a better job of taking his rhythm away, and I will,” Green said. “He had a great game, but that’s on me.”
Siakam responded by saying that he expects the Warriors to make adjustments and that he’ll be ready for them.
Siakam expects Golden State to make adjustments and said he’ll be ready.
“I think all year that’s something that I’ve always done, kind of adjusting and getting better as the day goes on,” he said, “You’re going to have different looks than maybe you did the first game or whatever. For me, it’s just about adjusting.”
Siakam is officially on the radar of the Warriors and if they want to win, they must keep an eye on him.
The Warriors Look to Tie the Series
For the Warriors, Steph Curry finished Game 1 with 34 points. He shot 44 percent from the field and was perfect from the free-throw line (14-of-14). Curry was one of three Warriors in double figures, the others being Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. Thompson had 21 points and Green had another triple-double. He finished with 10 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. The three of them played well but the team was rattled by the Raptors’ defense.
The Raptors forced the Warriors to have 16 turnovers. Their issues holding on to the ball affected them and caused them to score 57.8 points per 100 possessions in the half-court. Green complimented their defense and said they didn’t have many defensive lapses. The Raptors were prepared for the Warriors and played them well in Game 1. Now, both teams have to make adjustments in their own ways.
What to Expect
The Raptors can take a 2-0 lead over the Warriors, but the Warriors are an experienced team. They know what it takes to win on the road. The Warriors won’t have Kevin Durant but will likely have Andre Iguodala. Iguodala had an MRI after suffering a calf injury in Game 1. Durant could return in Game 3 or 4 but is definitely out for today’s game. If he returns in the series, the Warriors have a better chance.
Regardless, if the Warriors adjust to the Raptors’ defense or try to shut down Siakam, they can win this game. Otherwise, the Raptors will improve their lead.
Warriors win 120-115
Featured image courtesy of USA Today Sports