The NBA Finals have not gone how the NBA would like so far. The best player in the NBA, Kevin Durant, has been missing in action for the first two games and he’ll once again be out for the third. To make matters worse, Klay Thompson is also listed as questionable for the game tonight. What is supposed to be the showcase of the best players in the league has turned into a struggle to survive for the Warriors.
The good news is that the Warriors are one of the greatest teams ever so even without their superstars, they are still pretty dang good. Kawhi Leonard has done an admirable job leading the Raptors this far, but we have yet to see the kind of superlative performance that he has become known for during this run. Could tonight be the night?
Graeme: If the Toronto Raptors are going to win the NBA Championship, they need to win tonights game. Simple as that.
There is no better chance than tonight. KD has been ruled out. Klay is questionable and even if he plays he won’t be 100%.
Despite this, the sportsbooks still favour the Warriors. They’re 4.5 point favourites going into this crucial Game 3.
Raptors were fairly solid during the regular season on the road, and have come to the Oracle and win previously. Warriors aren’t invincible at home, as we saw when the Clippers beat them twice in their series at the Oracle Arena. The Toronto Raptors have had no issues with going into opposition territory and getting crucial wins throughout the playoffs.
To me, this feels like one of those head vs heart things. The smart play 100% is the Raptors in my opinion with the injuries on the Warriors side. However, my heart says the Warriors take it. The Oracle is NOT an easy place to come to and on a night like this, the Warriors will thrive under the noise.
I’m going with Warriors -4.5. With or without Klay, I think the home crowd is going to spur the Warriors on and we see a surprisingly lopsided victory.
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Vin: I wholeheartedly agree with Graeme that if the Raptors are going to win the NBA Championship then tonight is their night. With Klay Thompson questionable and hobbled at best for the Warriors, this is their shot. His game relies on moving quickly around the court and getting that jumper off. That is a lot of stress on the legs and if he plays, I just don’t see him being all that effective. That puts a lot of pressure on players like Quinn Cook and Andre Iguodala (who has him own injury woes), a pressure that is simply not good for their game.
While I love Stephen Curry and think he is one of the greatest players in NBA history, the Raptors should be able to fully gameplan around him and make his life very difficult. The Warriors got a great contribution from DeMarcus Cousins in game two, but an added focus on him really works against what this team does best.
The Warriors have relied on big second halves and third quarters during this run, and without Klay I just don’t see that as likely. Taking the Raptors and the points here. Raptors +4.5