With game one in the books, the Toronto Raptors took down the Golden State Warriors 118 to 109 taking a 1-0 lead in the 2018-2019 Finals. The game stayed within regulation as the Raptors held a stronghold on the Warriors as they had control throughout the game. The Raptors were lead by Pascal Siakam who had 32 points and ran the open lanes up and down the court creating easy baskets for himself in transition. Siakam showed how difficult he is to defend in the half court with his agility and length while also making open shots Siakam really imposed his will in game one. He was “Playing with the confidence that nobody can guard him,” as ESPN’s Mark Jackson described his play. Siakam wasn’t alone out there. His teammates Kawhi Leonard and Marc Gasol did their parts, dropping 23 and 20 points, respectively. Even Fred Vanvleet, in his first finals, was a force off the bench with 15 points.
From watching the game, it seemed like the Warriors’ game plan was to let anyone not named Kawhi Leonard beat them as many of his teammates were given wide open looks. But still they only lost by nine points without Kevin Durant, who is still battling his injured calf that occurred in the semifinals of the Western Conference when they played the Houston Rockets. Klay Thompson didn’t have his best game, going 8-17 from the field, and although Demarcus Cousins did make his return from his torn quad from the first round he still wasn’t able to give much. Stephen Curry did play a great game and kept the team in the game as long as he could with his 34 points and aggressive play. Unfortunately, when things came down to the wire it would have helped to have one or two other players step up.
Going into Game Two on Sunday, the Raptors have all the momentum as they have a great game plan in defending the two-time defending champs. They just can’t get ahead of themselves and lose their heads in the moment. For the Warriors, they have a few adjustments that they need to make, like getting back and stop leaving people wide open, and communicating when in transition. However, their troubles may soon be over as Kevin Durant is rumored to be just around the corner of returning, but will he return in enough time?