Prior to tonight’s Raptors-Warriors game, I heard someone refer to the entire affair as the “No-Win Bowl.” Now, in reality, this is incorrect. If the Raptors win, it’s a win, full stop. We don’t need to introduce qualifications — yet.
There are indeed qualifications, though, philosophical differences that change the complex of this evening’s game. And therein lies the rub. As was reported this morning, the Warriors will be without two of their five core players — defensive genius and ultimate glue guy Draymond Green, and the greatest shooter (perhaps) of all time, Steph Curry. This obviously changes the calculus a tad for the Raptors, and their mission to be the very best team in the NBA.
So, yes, the No-Win Bowl. If the Raptors win, they’ve beaten the Warriors without two of their signature players — which, by the laws of basketball mathematics, suggests the win means next to nothing. Of course, if the Raptors lose, they’d be going down in defeat to a Warriors team without those same two players — what hope then would they have against Golden State at full strength? It’s quite the conundrum.
I’m not in the mood for any of this, to be honest. The Warriors still have Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson after all. They still have the championship pedigree. And I still want the Raptors to win regardless of who is on the other side of the court. It may not mean anything in the bigger picture of things — yet — but it’s all another step on the journey to, gasp, June.
The Raptors-Warriors preview is here. The updated game details are below. Now, let’s watch.
Where to Watch:
TSN and TNT at 8pm
Toronto - Kyle Lowry, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Pascal Siakam, Serge Ibaka
Golden State - Quinn Cook, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Kevin Durant, Damian Jones
Toronto - Norman Powell (out - shoulder)
Golden State - Stephen Curry (out - groin), Draymond Green (out - toe), Alfonzo McKinnie (out - foot), DeMarcus Cousins (out - Achilles)