If it felt surreal that the Toronto Raptors — you know, our Toronto Raptors — were in the NBA Finals, it might feel even more surreal that the Raptors are heading into a Finals game with no real negative outcome.
Heading into tonight’s Game 4, Toronto has a 2-1 lead on the home Warriors, where the worst thing that can happen is they head home tied 2-2.
Golden State will get some reinforcements after fielding Steph Curry and “hopeful shooter one through seven” in Game 3. Klay Thompson will give it a go after a hamstring injury held him out of the game Wednesday. Kevon Looney, the Warriors’ best centre in this post-season, will play despite a collarbone injury that could’ve held him out for the entire series.
As for Kevin Durant? We already know he’s out, but it sounds like Steve Kerr and the Warriors are still hopeful he makes a return in the series — albeit, while not willing to give concrete updates of his progress.
Kerr says Warriors are hoping Kevin Durant can play Game 5 or 6 but he will no longer update between game progress.— Blake Murphy (@BlakeMurphyODC) June 7, 2019
So the Raptors can surely expect a healthier, motivated Warriors team tonight. The grey area between injured and healthy will be interesting to watch tonight for Thompson and Looney, who might not otherwise play if they weren’t down 2-1. There’s still going to be a lot of pressure on Curry to score in droves.
Toronto should also expect more of a fight from Golden State’s defence, arguably the place where the Warriors lost Game 3. Kyle Lowry and Marc Gasol were exceptional in attacking matchups in Wednesday’s win and will need to do more. Kawhi Leonard still hasn’t had a breakout game, though continues that superstar thing where he gets to the free throw line prolifically.
The Raptors haven’t been playing that fast, but their half court offence has had purpose. Tonight could be a great test to see how that stands up against additional pressure. I’m daring to believe they can, and that Toronto could head home with a chance to clinch a title(!!) on Monday.
Now, before we get too ahead of ourselves, let’s get to the game details.
Where to Watch:
TSN, 9 PM ET
Toronto - Kyle Lowry, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol
Golden State - Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Draymond Green, DeMarcus Cousins
Toronto - none
Golden State - Kevin Durant (out - calf)