2019 NBA Finals Preview: Game 4

Fred VanVleet is trying to envision the words of Toronto Raptors Head Coach Nick Nurse.
Photo Courtesy: Dominic Ceraldi

By Da’Vince “Dino” Wright

Game Info
Toronto Raptors vs Golden State Warriors
Friday – June 7 – 8:00 p.m.
TV: ABC
Oracle Arena – Oakland, California

Series Records Before the Game
Toronto Raptors 2-1
Golden State Warriors 1-2

Game 3 Recap
Costly turnovers and poor clock management cost the Warriors in Game 3. Let’s face it, Klay was out with a bad hamstring pull and Steph didn’t have that second option on offense. It was bound to happen the way it did. Steph Curry poured in a game high 47 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists and still couldn’t pull it off. Toronto is a good team and when the role players are scoring, it’s hard playing catch up to a good team. Besides, in my last article I told everyone that the score would be Toronto 122 – Warriors 109 and guess what, the Raptors scored 123 points and Golden State scored 109 in Game 3. Let’s break down the game plan for both teams for Game 4.

Toronto Raptors
Kawhi Leonard saves his best for last. You can count on him to give you 30 points in any game. He’s beginning to trust others around him. When he started taking shots in the paint his team mates followed suit. What separates him from other players on the floor is that he gets to the free throw line and scores the easy baskets. He hasn’t missed a free throw yet! Fred VanVleet is taking and making big shots at important times of the game. His three pointer at the end of the 3rd and 4th quarters were back breaking for Golden State. If he stays consistent with his play, he will be the missing cog in dethroning the defending champs. Danny Green looks as if someone has turned the clock back on his jumper. He went 6 for 8 behind the arc and should keep putting up those shots if Toronto finds him.

Golden State Warriors
Draymond Green was my dark horse for keeping this injury riddled team afloat. But, like he has always done. He’s managed to whine and cry about calls disrupting the flow of the team. The Warriors have some talent on their bench, but there hasn’t been playing time for the guys. I can see HC Steve Kerr playing these young guys more. It’s almost like fighting the enemy and waiting for the cavalry to come. Hopefully, KD and Klay will be back soon. There are many keys for the Warriors to retain their title. One key is playing defense for 48 minutes, not going through the motions. As mentioned earlier, an important key is playing the younger guys. Another key is game planning and management. You can’t game plan against a player that hasn’t played during the series. This is when GS should use those young athletic guys like Jordan Bell, Quinn Cook and Jonas Jerebko. They’re ready, but you have to play them.

Prediction
I’m going to bypass the over/under for this game. Game 3 was the swing game. 36 of the last 39 winners of the series won Game 3. I’m taking Toronto to win by 12. Last game Steph Curry looked like that old Micheal McDonald and Patti LaBell song, “On My Own!” Guess what? Part 2 will be Game 4.

Final Score
Toronto 113
Golden State 98