We didn’t see this coming…
We knew Toronto had the better overall team, we were aware that the warriors were hobbled. However, did anyone fathom that the was series going to be 3-1 in Toronto’s favor?
I for sure didn’t. I expected a series. Sans Kevin Durant I envisioned a back and forth series, where the warriors although riddled with fatigue and injuries would keep the series interesting against an inexperienced and often at times incapable Toronto Raptors team.
We’ve severely underestimated the Toronto Raptors,
and underappreciated the value of Kevin Durant.
The Raptors are playing their hearts out in this series. They have nothing to prove right now. They’ve exceeded expectations. And have had a season for the books.
Yet somehow you can see the fire in their eyes. It was reported that when Toronto won game 3 they had no type of celebration. Everyone was quiet and focused. They still had a job to do.
Now up 3-1 and staring down the franchise’s first title, they have one game tonight to capture everything they ever wanted. On top of that, they’re playing for a whole country. Not just Toronto but Canada as a whole. This is history in the making right here. And we’re witnessing it live.
If they lose tonight they still have 2 more games to get it done, but the pressure rises and the stakes get higher. But they have 2 of the next 3 games at home.
Aside from that, you can feel the pride and excitement that Canada has, and you can see these raptors feeling no pressure. These Fans and players are just happy to be here, in this very moment, playing basketball in June. No one expected them to make it past the second round. No one expected them to make it to the finals. No one expected them to have such a commanding lead against a dynastic team. But here they are, one game away from basketball history. Can they do it? We’ll find out tonight. If not, they have two more chances.
On the other side, we see a hobbled team of tired champions. You can see that they want another championship, but they just don’t have the energy or health to win it this year. Kevin Durant is injured even though he’s playing tonight. Klay Thompson is hurt, Iguodala is hurt. The entire team is riddled with injuries. The monsters are facing their own mortality in front of us and we’re watching the woes of a dynasty come to light. The Warriors are proving they need Kevin Durant to win. Once again. They are also proving they can play at a high level as they give the Raptors a run for their money without him.
However, because of injuries and championship fatigue, they are looking tired and just prepared to end the season. Although they’re competitors, the team as a whole is outmatched and outgunned.
Yes, Kevin Durant will play today. However, I don’t believe that will be enough. He’s coming off a “strained calf” and won’t be 100%. Even if a non 100% KD is better than 90% of the rest of the NBA, I don’t believe the Warriors with their current fatigue, health and bench depth can defeat the onslaught of this Raptors team. Especially with Kawhi Leonard.
I’m predicting a Raptors win tonight in Toronto, There’s no legitimate pressure on this team. They can play freely. All the pressure is on Golden State, and even though the greats thrive under pressure I don’t have confidence that the warriors can pull this off.
There is a chance, however. If the Warriors win tonight, they can shift momentum and have a chance to win this series. The Warriors are champions, and if anyone can pull this off, it’s them. They have the pedigree, the heart, and the resume to do so. They say the winner of game 5 wins the series, that’s usually said when a series is tied. But this, game 5 is going to be one for the books. Will the team with the whole Canada prevail over the Monstars and make history? Or will The Dynasty be solidified, and the Warriors overcome the injury woes to validate their success over the past 5 years.
I guess we’ll have to find out tonight.