Oakland-- The Toronto Raptors are confident enough to expect they will be hoisting the elusive Larry O'Brien trophy for the first time in history. But the 2X NBA champion Golden State Warriors have other plans as they look to even up the series tonight. Do you know why tonight is even more special? It's the grand finale of the historical Oracle Arena since they are moving across the bridge to San Francisco for their brand-new arena. It's going to be electric tonight inside the arena- it is both the last game of the year and the last game ever in Oakland, so it will be emotional to say the least.
Now, this isn't 2017 where Golden State can count on Zaza Pachulia stepping on Leonard's ankle (2017 Western Conference Finals) to knock him out of the series. They are going to have to use the same blueprint to stop Kawhi as they did in the first 38 minutes and the last play in Game 5. Throughout the finals, we have noticed the Warriors struggling in many important phases of the game such as defending, defensive rebounding, scoring, and containing Kawhi Leonard. Defending and rebounding come down to effort, so they can still change their fortunes when it comes to that aspect.
What I am worried about for them is the lack of scoring options. The Warriors have clearly shown that they are a different team offensively without Kevin Durant. Stephen Curry has shown he is not capable of carrying his team to a title without the help of other top scoring options, such as Durant and Klay Thompson. He is averaging a personal NBA final high 32.4 PPG, shooting a flat 41.9 from the field and 35.0 from behind the arc, which is very low for Curry standards.
If Golden State somehow wants to do the unthinkable and tie the series up tonight after being down 3-1, then they will need to mop up a few things on the court to withstand the physical Raptors.
Notes: Draymond Green is one technical foul away from being suspended for one game, which would be Game 7. Kevon Looney is probable for tonight. Tip at 9:00 PM ET.