For the Warriors, this 2019 title run has been different, but only in comparison to the last four years. They’ve been here before, experienced immense highs — three championships! — and unfathomable lows — first team to blow a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals. To take a trip down memory lane would not require an entire accounting of their franchise’s history; it would not even extend past this most recent decade.
Not so for the Raptors.
For Toronto, this journey has no comparison. It is all rarified air. And what’s more, as we’ve discussed elsewhere, the Raptors find themselves in a position no other Canadian professional sports team has been in for over 25 years. (The Vancouver Canucks of 2011 were up 3-2 in the Stanley Cup Final, which is the closest this country has come recently.) It’s why there is a lot of emotion in the air, reminisces about the passage of time, about family, about the ups and downs of following a team. You could wait your whole life, and all that.
It bears mentioning that this is not a done deal yet for the Raptors. The Warriors are indeed the two-time defending champions, and their lead difference maker, the man who gives them the utmost lineup flexibility and supercharges their offense, is set to make his first appearance in the series. Yes, after four games of anticipation, Kevin Durant is planning on playing in tonight’s Game 5. It could mean the world for the Warriors — and perhaps the universe, the history of existence, the entire summation of reality for the Raptors. No pressure.
In that spirit, we prepare. Here’s Zakaria Abdulle with the full Game 5 preview from this morning. Below are the updated details — a.k.a. the Kevin Durant ticker — and now, let’s watch.
Where to Watch:
Sportsnet, 9:00pm EST
Toronto – Kyle Lowry, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol
Golden State [UPDATED] – Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green
Toronto – none
Golden State – none