Toronto Raptors (73-32) vs. Golden State Warriors (71-32)
NBA Basketball: Thursday, June 13, 2019 (Oracle Arena)
Line and Odds: Golden State Warriors (-3) ; Toronto Raptors (+3)
NBA NBA Finals Picks Toronto Raptors Vs. Golden State Warriors
Game five saw the brief return of Kevin Durant as Golden State managed to survive by one point on the road and push the series to a sixth game. Can the Warriors force a game seven? Or will the Raptors send Golden State packing along with Oracle Arena?
The biggest story of game five was Kevin Durant’s Achilles injury. Durant hadn’t played in 33 days after suffering a right calf strain in the previous round against the Rockets yet he still managed to torch the Raptors for 11 points in 12 minutes including 3-3 shooting from deep. Given that the Warriors won by a single point, without KD’s contributions the series likely would have ended in Toronto.
The Warriors will be without KD and Kevon Looney is questionable after re-aggravating his collarbone injury. Golden State will still have their core of Curry, Klay, and Dray however, and Boogie Cousins who is capable of playing big minutes.
The Splash Brothers were tremendous from three in game five, and are likely to perform similarly in game six. While Curry can go off at any time, every opponent’s biggest fear should be a game six Klay Thompson. Back in 2016, he hit 11 threes against the Thunder to force a game seven, which the Warriors ultimately won. Allegedly, Klay’s performance was dedicated to his friend’s dog who had passed away. This time, he’s upset by the Toronto crowd’s disrespectful response to Durant’s injury, and he’ll likely be looking for blood on Thursday night.
While the Raptors will have to deal with the Warriors at home one last time, they did win big at Oracle in both games three and four. Toronto didn’t necessarily play a bad game on Monday night, although they did shoot 25% from three which leaves a little to be desired. They more than likely would have won if Kevin Durant didn’t play at all, however a full game of KD might have meant a blowout in game five rather than a one point loss.
Offensively, the Raptors will need Kawhi to be his usual self, and preferably for all five starters to reach double figure scoring. Expect Serge Ibaka and Fred VanVleet to give Toronto huge minutes off the bench as they have all series.
The main point of interest for the Raptors is how they will defend the Splash Brothers and whether they will dedicate resources towards stopping DeMarcus Cousins. While Danny Green is a great defender, it’ll be interesting to see if Nick Nurse puts Leonard on Thompson to prevent him from getting going. VanVleet is excellent at defending Curry, and Gasol and Ibaka should be able to stop Cousins. It’s unlikely they’ll go to the box and one unless Kerr has only one of Curry or Thompson on the floor, however they may return to the triangle and two which they employed last game.
Golden State Warriors Trends
Golden State are 8-3 SU in their last 11 games.
Golden State are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games at home.
Golden State are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games when playing at home against Toronto.
Golden State are 7-3 SU in their last 10 games this season.
Golden State are 6-3 SU in their last 9 games against an opponent in the Eastern conference.
Toronto Raptors Trends
Toronto are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games.
Toronto are 7-2 SU in their last 9 games.
Toronto are 6-3 ATS in their last 9 games against Golden State.
Toronto are 5-2 SU in their last 7 games against Golden State.
The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Toronto’s last 11 games on the road.
NBA Finals Golden State Warriors Vs. Toronto Raptors
This game will almost certainly be highly contested. The Warriors have their backs against the wall at home, while the Raptors are just a game away from clinching their first NBA championship. In terms of how the game plays out, Curry and Klay will put on a show for their fans as they step into Oracle Arena for a final time. It’ll be close, but I have Golden State winning, covering, and forcing a game seven on Thursday night.
Pick: Golden State Warriors (-3)