We’ve seen this before.
Golden State fans will point to the 18-0 run to start the second half. Raptor fans have several reference points. Whether it’s Game 1 in Milwaukee (outplaying the favourite for three quarters) or Game 1 vs. Orlando (defensive lapses + incredible comeback + back-breaking three in the final seconds), the Raptors have some recent history of bouncing back.
Before looking forward to Game Three, we broke down what went right and what officiating call went wrong.
On The Latest Episode:
Horrible officiating is often the scapegoat for a losing team. However, as is usually the case with games refereed by Tony Brothers, the questionable calls happened to both teams. Where the game was really lost, was the third quarter. A combination of turnovers and missed open shots conjured up memories of recent playoff losses.
It wasn’t all gloom in Scotiabank Arena, as it was Toronto that played with more urgency. Most hustle stats favoured the home team — offensive rebounds, turnovers, and, very obviously, second-chance points.
The 18-0 run was deflating and the Warriors used their championship mettle to keep Toronto at arm’s length for the majority of the second half. The Raptors’ calling card this postseason has been the half-court defense. Specifically, the box-and-1 defense (with Fred VanVleet sticking to Steph Curry like white on rice) prevented the Warriors from scoring for the last five minutes (except the clinching three by Andre Iguodala with 5.9 seconds left).
If there’s anything to gain from the third quarter, it’s that the Raptors can ill afford to turn the ball over in any frequency. Missed open shots have come and gone throughout these playoffs, but the live-ball turnovers fuelled Golden State’s run. Other areas of concern, such as Curry’s ability of foul-baiting or the aforementioned missed open shots, can all roll up to one catch-all solution: staying focused.
The silver lining is that the Raptors have won six of eight quarters, with both third quarters being the only Warrior victories. Toronto was able to halt those runs in Game 1, but couldn’t in Game 2. Surprise, surprise — Game 3 is a must-win! With the Warriors dealing with a plethora of injuries, and Kevin Durant possibly still sidelined, Toronto needs to take advantage of the Durant-less Warriors and regain home-court advantage.
2:00 - Officiating sucked... for both teams
8:00 - Defense wins championships
11:15 - Warriors are the annoying know-it-all in high school
18:35 - Where else have we seen this before?