After the Warriors survive Game 5, Nick Ballistreri previews Game 6 and makes his pick as the Warriors look to stay alive in the last game in Oracle Arena.
Game 6 of the NBA Finals will be played at Oracle Arena, on Thursday June 13, at 9:00 PM EST. The game be seen on ABC.
Warriors vs Raptors preview
Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals changed the NBA as we know it. Not only did the Warriors escape with a Game 5 victory to extend the series, Kevin Durant went down with another injury. Like the previous one, this one looked bad initially, but this time, the worst fears were confirmed. Durant suffered a potentially serious Achilles injury, ending his postseason once and for all.
When Durant went down with the injury in the early moments of the 2nd quarter, there was a sense of shock on both sides. The key to the game would be which team could grab the momentum and run with it. The Warriors did just that, riding the emotions of Durant’s injury to a tense 106-105 victory on the road.
The Warriors got an early boost from the return of Kevin Durant, who had a quick 11 points early on. The Warriors carried this momentum up into the 4th quarter, holding a solid lead throughout. The Raptors however, showed once again that they will not go down without a fight.
In the 4th, Kawhi Leonard showed the world the game was his for the taking. In the span of 2 minutes, Leonard hit 2 three-pointers and 2 more buckets, scoring 10 in a row to give the Raptors a 103-97 lead with a little over 3 minutes remaining. At this point, it looked like the dynasty may very well fall right before our eyes.
But, the Warriors showed the heart of a champion. With 2:32 left, Klay Thompson hit a 3 to cut the lead to 103-100, keeping them within striking distance. Two possessions later, Steph Curry hit arguably the biggest shot of his life, an off balance 3 to tie the game and keep the dreams of another championship run alive. The game was now tied at 103 with 1:22 left.
After Kawhi missed a jumper, the Warriors had the ball, with a chance to go ahead. Klay hit another 3 with under a minute left, to give the Warriors the lead once and for all. This team doesn’t quit, and never stops fighting. A team like this is never down without a fight, and without Kevin Durant, the Splash Brothers put the team on their back, and kept the dynasty alive for one more night.
The Raptors cut it to 106-105, and had the ball with 10 seconds left. Kawhi was doubled, found VanVleet, who found Lowry in the corner open with a chance to end it all, and win the Raptors their first NBA championship in history. Long story short, it looked like Lowry choked, as he hit the side of the backboard, losing the game. Reviews of the play showed that Draymond Green may have made a championship play of his own, getting a piece of Lowry’s shot and altering it enough to stay alive.
Draymond Green is a winner. For all the talk about how he whines too much, and complains to the point of annoying his teammates and fans, he’s a winner without question. I would take Draymond Green on my team. His heart and will to win is unmatched, and it showed in this game. He was struggling offensively, but found ways to impact the game, finishing with 10 points, 10 rebounds, and 8 assists, as well as that key block to end the game.
The Raptors wear led by you guessed it, Kawhi Leonard, who finished with 26 points and 12 rebounds. Lowry finished with 18, and Serge Ibaka had a huge impact off the bench, finishing with 15 points and 6 rebounds. Ibaka has had a big impact in this series, showing his championship experience and pedigree.
Now, the ball is still in the Raptors court. All they have to do is win 1 of the next 2 games, and they will be NBA champions. With Durant ruled out, this looks like it’s for their taking, but like I said before, never count out the heart of a champion.
Warriors vs Raptors key series stats
● The Warriors hit 20 three-pointers in Game 5
○ This was the second most in NBA Finals history
● The Raptors show 25% from 3, the difference in the game
● The Warriors are 6-1 in their last 7 elimination games
● The Raptors have never won an NBA Finals
● The Raptors are 2-0 in Oracle this finals
Warriors vs Raptors betting lines
● The Warriors opened as 4.5 point favorites in Game 6, with the line currently at Warriors -3
● The Warriors ML is -150 on BetStars, the best odds being given
● The Raptors ML is +130 on every sportsbook
Warriors vs Raptors Game 6 Spread Prediction
Now, it gets very interesting. The Raptors had this for the taking, up 6 with a little over 3 left and a championship on the line. The Warriors proved that when you get a kill shot on a champion, you best not miss. That being said, Durant is out for the remainder of the series, and the Raptors look like they should be able to finish it off. They have looked like the better team for about 80% of the series, and have responded to each punch the Warriors have thrown. The Warriors rode the emotional high of Durant going down with an injury, and won Game 5 for their teammate. The magic stops here. The Raptors have shown they can win on the road, and the Warriors without Durant don’t have enough. The line started at 4.5, and has dropped to 3 in favor of the Warriors. I’m going with Toronto, as they won’t be feeling the pressure to win in front of their home crowd, and frankly, because they are the better team at the moment. The Warriors are too banged up to win this game. Raptors +3 is my pick, but the Raptors better not let this get to 7.
Warriors vs Raptors pick
Raptors (+3) @ Sugarhouse