Kevin Durant is playing, Canada is fired up, and tonight is the first night of the NBA season that could be the last night of the NBA season! TrueHoop is here to watch the game with you, starting at 9pm ET!
David Thorpe thoughts heading into the big game fit the theme of: the Warriors must take some sort of risk. Lining up and HOPING Durant can make a difference, or the Raptors shooters will miss, is not an answer:
The Warriors could do what Nurse did to them in Game 3 with Stephen Curry: Stop doing anything special to slow Kawhi Leonard. Let him get 50 and hope he wears down late while his teammates have no feel or confidence to make big shots late. Stay connected to everyone when Kawhi attacks and force him to make his tough jumpers in pressure situations. He’s never had to be THE MAN in a closeout Finals game. Do I doubt he’s up for it? No. But again, they have to try something.
Pascal Siakam is not Kawhi. But he has been a very effective second option for the Raptors. When left to just play one-on-one with no help coming, he has beaten up the Warriors defenders. All of them. It makes some sense to see KD guarding Siakam rather than Kawhi. Durant is a better fit because of that size and length compared to his Warriors’ teammates, and Siakam won’t overpower him.
The Warriors can not be anything but thrilled with Klay Thompson and Steph Curry’s offense. The rest of the team has been pure garbage. The beauty of the Warriors’ Cuisinart offense is its ability to generate great shots for their non-stars. One possibility: Kerr tells his two core role players to let the shots fly. Draymond Green averages three 3s a game, Iggy four. To loosen up the Raptors defense, those two need to take that many 3s by midway of the second quarter. They could get blown out by 20 in the first half this way. But the reward is significant. The Raptors begin to feel the pressure of ending the series immediately, they vacate the paint more to contest shots, and suddenly the Cuisinart gets plugged back in.
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