Updated: Feb 29
If you are a Toronto fan, you loved that game. A ton of great contributions and some from an unexpected source. Kawhi had a quiet 23/8/5. Gasol chimed in with 20/7/1 but Pascal Siakam was Game 1's hero with 32 points 8 rebounds and 5 assists.
Siakam had his second 30 point game of the playoffs and left his mark all over the game. A great behind the head pass to Kawhi on a fast break, the defensive end had blocked and altered shots, great help defense and timely hoops to keep a nice distance between the Raptors and the defending NBA Champion Golden State Warriors.
On the other side of the ball, the usual suspects came up big in big spots to keep the game close. Steph Curry led all scores with 34/5/5 while Klay Thompson dropped 21/5/1 and immediately after tallying a 10/10/10 triple double Draymond Green got called "TRASH" by Drake. Real mature.
I'll admit with around 7 minutes left to go in the 4th I got a little nervous and knew that this is where Toronto has to be smart and keep playing good defense and protecting the ball on offense because if they take their foot off the gas a 10 point lead could be a 6 point deficit before you've even realized Steph just made a few 3's.
Fred Van Vleet dropped another 15 points including a circus shot late in the game to beat the shot clock, continuing his lights out play since the birth of his son in mid May. Danny Green had a nice game hitting some shots when it mattered. Perhaps none more important that the three pointer he hit right before halftime to give the Raps a 10 point lead instead of going into the locker room only up 7. I mentioned in my last post, his finals experience will be something that will keep this team calm and composed throughout the series.
All in all, Toronto didn't do anything last night that they can't replicate in game 2 and beyond. Good defense, good shot selection and smart passes. Although I did notice that Kawhi made a few bad decisions with the ball in his hand which is out of character. A few bad dribbling turnovers and a poor shot on a fast break where he hesitated and hoisted up a 3 with number where he could have dumped the ball in the post for a layup or taken it to the hoop himself and drawn a foul for a possible And-1. We can assume game 1 jitters I guess?
Golden State will adjust, play better defense and shots will fall. The most glaring issues, however, was for the first time since his injury, Kevin Durant his defensive length and shot creating was missed. Boogie Cousins struggled to get his legs back under him, shaking off the rust from missing the last two series and only contributing 3 points.
Expect to see Klay have a bigger game 2 and Kawhi put his huge handprint on the next game to try and put the Golden State Warriors in a 2-0 hole.
Game 2 is Sunday at 6pm/ EST on ABC