2019 NBA Finals Preview: Game 3

Golden State is looking to go up 2-1 against the Raptors tonight. Photo Courtesy: Thomas Hawk

By Da’Vince “Dino” Wright

Game Info
Toronto Raptors vs Golden State Warriors
June 6 – 8:00 p.m.
TV: ABC
ORACLE Arena – Oakland, California

Series Records Before the Game
Toronto Raptors 1-1
Golden State Warriors 1-1

Game 2 Recap
Toronto dropped Game 2 by struggling from the tip off. In my last article I almost predicted the score again. I shared the pitfalls from both teams and the key players involved. Kawhi Leonard struggled well into the 3rd quarter. He was tired plain and simple. He carried his team all season and you can see the wear and tear of the minutes he logged this year. Steph Curry finally looked as if he was human. Klay Thompson got hurt, but is listed as questionable for Game 3. KD is still out but Boogie Cousins looked great in his return. Game 3 will be the turning point for the series. Can you imagine Toronto winning Game 3 on the road? Well that’s possible. Let’s take a look at Game 3 and what both teams need s on obtaining a win in this swing game.

Toronto Raptors
Questions loom over this team after the Game 2 loss. Who’s able to step up and carry the load? Who’s the second scoring option for this team? When Kawhi got tired and started making mental mistakes with the ball there was no help scoring the ball. Pascal Siakam is streaky at best. He looked great in Game 1 but vanished in Game 2. He’s a good player, but he’s not great. Marc Gasol, Norman Powell and Serge Ibaka have to be aggressive on the offensive end. Toronto can’t get sucked into trading 3-point baskets with Golden State. The trouble with playing Golden State is that opposing players end up looking at the score board, worried about playing catch up when they make a run.

Golden State Warriors
Boogie Cousins was the key to Golden State winning on the road. His timely passing and rebounds changed the landscape of the series. He played a very intricate part in Toronto’s game plan. They didn’t know what hit them when Golden State placed him in the starting line up. No one game game planned for him. Golden State’s game plan is to keep Toronto on their heels by running the ball on every rebound. Draymond Green is the X factor. Allowing him to play the point keeps an extra big man at the top of the key. By playing this game, the floor is unbalanced. Toronto is a team that is defensively sound in the half court game. They struggle in the open court.

Prediction
Golden State plays well at home. Remember they struggled in this year’s playoffs with Denver and Houston dropping easy wins  to hungry teams. I’m taking Toronto in Game 3.

Final Score
Toronto 122
Golden State 109