The Warriors gave up 118 points in Game 1, despite containing Kawhi Leonard. Toronto scored effectively by posting Pascal Siakam against Steph Curry and getting out in transition.
At one point, Siakam hit 11 consecutive shots from the field, which smashed a Finals record. The Warriors won’t just willingly switch Curry onto him in Game 2, which could make Kyle Lowry more dangerous in the pick-and-roll game or it tougher to defend the 3-point line. Steve Kerr will take his chances. You can’t do much worse than letting somebody shoot 14-for-17, as Siakam did three nights ago.
After Game 1, Draymond Green admitted the Raptors’ speed caught the Warriors off-guard. He also sounded confident that after “feeling it” (as opposed to watching it on tape), Golden State would be better prepared to deal with that speed in Game 2. Green described better transition defense as simply more effort and down 0–1, the Warriors will give a greater effort in Game 2. It would shock me if the Raptors have the sort of game in transition tonight that they had on Thursday.
So there you have it — two straightforward adjustments the Warriors will make to keep Toronto down around 100. I’m not ready to play the Warriors yet; they will contend with Toronto’s speed but that doesn’t mean they will open up a transition game of their own yet. The Raptors won’t be run off their home floor and they are formidable in the halfcourt. It should be a close game.
So rather than play a side, let’s take the under in what I anticipate will be a halfcourt grind that finishes closer to 200 than the current total of 215. After cashing Toronto in the first half on Thursday, we’re six out of seven in these playoffs. Consider this a strong play.
Play: Under 215