MANILA, Philippines – The defending champion Golden State Warriors have seized homecourt advantage away from the Toronto Raptors with a spirited NBA Finals Game 2 win, but at what cost?
Just when people thought the Warriors’ injury list was getting shorter, backup big man Kevon Looney was ruled out for the season after suffering a fractured collarbone off a collision with Raptors star Kawhi Leonard.
As their luck would have it, All-Star guard Klay Thompson also joined Looney on the sidelines a few minutes later when he suffered a minor hamstring strain in the 4th quarter, just as the Warriors were done carving up the Raptors’ lifeless defense.
As of posting, Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Thompson remains a “game-day decision” as the series shifts back to the west in Oracle Arena.
With reigning two-time Finals MVP Kevin Durant already ruled out of Game 3, the window for counterattack has never been wider open for the Raptors. As Leonard is expected to still lead the team, now is the time for the team veterans to step up like Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka.
Lowry is currently averaging a measly 10 points per game on a 30% shooting with 5.5 assists and has largely been outplayed by his backup Fred VanVleet.
Ibaka, meanwhile, owns norms of 6 points and 6.5 rebounds on a 36% clip. Even with DeMarcus Cousins finally returning to form for the Warriors, a little bit more offensive efficiency from the Raptors’ frontcourt can go a long way.
People play with the cards they are dealt with, and the Raptors have been gifted a golden opportunity to bet all-in as the Warriors are going down like flies. How both teams react and adapt to this situation will dictate just how far they’ll go in basketball’s biggest stage.
Will the Raptors pounce hard on these weakened Warriors or will the defending champs have some more tricks up their sleeves?
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