After the Raptors make a statement with a Game 1 win, Nick Ballistreri previews Game 2 and makes his pick as the Warriors look to punch back.
Game 2 of the NBA Finals will be played at Scotiabank Arena, on Sunday June 2, at 8:00 PM EST. The game be seen on ABC.
Warriors vs Raptors Game 2 preview
The scene in Toronto was electric. With the Raptors securing their first ever NBA Finals appearance, the city was ready to bring the energy. Fans piled into their seats, while others chose to watch outside on the streets of the city at what the team calls the “Jurassic Park”. The fans have been waiting 24 years for this, and it was worth the wait.
What a statement. The Raptors came out in Game 1 with a mission to prove they might be the one to end the Warriors dynasty once and for all. Casual basketball fans may not be familiar with the name Pascal Siakam, but the whole world is buzzing about him after the impact he made in the opener. Siakam was a man on a mission, racking up 32 points on a super efficient 14-17 shooting. At one point, he couldn’t miss, connecting on an NBA Finals record 11 straight field goals. If you didn’t know about Siakam, now you know.
The story for the Raptors has been all about Kawhi Leonard. He has had a phenomenal playoff run to this point, but in Game 1, he was held in check by his lofty standards. Leonard finished with a quiet 23 points, on only 5-14 shooting, doing most of his damage from the free throw stripe. The thing is, they didn’t need much more. The Warriors focused so much of their energy on Leonard that it left room for the Raptors role players to shine.
The Raptors went all in on this season when they made a mid season move for Marc Gasol. Gasol is a veteran, and an All-NBA player in his prime. He isn’t the same player he once was, but he made his presence known in Game 1. He finished with 20 points and 6 rebounds, and even chipped in a couple 3’s. His real impact was on the defensive end, holding down tough down low and was a big part of the Warriors only scoring 34 points in the paint.
The Warriors have not lost a Game 1 during their quest for a three-peat. That all changed on Thursday, as they got punched in the mouth and never responded. If you still think this team doesn’t need Kevin Durant to win this series, think again. The Raptors swarming defense kept the Warriors off guard all game, and made things difficult for everybody not named Steph Curry.
Curry finished with 34 points, but he did not have much help. Klay Thompson finished with 21 points, but it took him 17 shots and he never looked comfortable, especially when he was forced to handle the ball. Draymond Green finished with a triple double, but again, the Raptors defense made things difficult, as he only shot 2-9 from the field. That’s not going to get it done. Another key factor that might impact this series is Andre Iguodala appearing to re-injure himself in at the end of the game. Steve Kerr said he should play, but this is definitely something to keep an eye one.
Warriors vs Raptors key series stats
● The Warriors had been 12-0 in Game 1’s during their quest for a three-peat
● Pascal Siakam had 18 points in the paint in Game 1
● Draymond Green recorded his third straight triple double
● Toronto held a 24-17 edge in fast break points
● The Warriors are 3-1 coming off a loss this postseason
● The Warriors are 75-25 in their last 100 playoff games
Warriors vs Raptors Game 2 betting lines
● The Warriors opened as 1 point favorites in Game 2
● Since then, the line has shifted to Toronto -2 at Sugarhouse
● Draftkings Sportsbook has the best odds for each team, with the Raptors -133 on the ML, and Warriors +114
Warriors vs Raptors Game 2 Spread Prediction
The oddsmakers have again made this game essentially a toss-up, with the home Raptors currently a 2 point favorite. Convincing yourself the the Warriors are mortal over the last 5 years has been tricky exercise, but one thing’s for certain, they have never looked more vulnerable. The Raptors have the length to disrupt the Warriors free flowing offense, and the superstar to carry them through the tough stretches. That being said, I am doubling down on the Warriors. I picked them to win Game 1, and they burned me, but I’m willing to take my chances again. The Warriors tend to come out hot after a loss, and are 10-2 against the spread in the first half of their last 12 games coming off a loss. This team has faced adversity before, and I would be shocked to see them go down 2-0. Expect some more shots to fall, and Draymond to limit Siakam better in this game. I’ll take the Warriors at +2 as they rebound in a big way.