The Golden State Warriors are playing in their fifth consecutive NBA Finals. Meanwhile, the Toronto Raptors have advanced to the Finals for the first time in franchise history.
However, it was the Raptors who played like the experienced team, posting a 118-109 victory in Game 1. Although the Golden State Warriors find themselves in unfamiliar territory, all hope is not lost.
Here’s a look at three keys for the Golden State Warriors
heading into Game 2.
3. Splash Brothers are going to need a little help. Stephen Curry had scored at least 30 points in the Warriors’ last five postseason contests. That trend continued into this series, as Chef Curry put up 34 points on 8-for-18 shooting and 4-for-9 from deep. Additionally, Klay Thompson chipped in with 21 points on 8-for-17 shooting from the field. But aside from Draymond Green (10 points, 10 rebounds 10 assists), no other Warriors player scored in double figures. With this in mind, Curry and Thompson are going to need more production from their teammates going forward.
2. Play better defense and limit the number of turnovers. One of the reasons why the Raptors were victorious in Game 1 was because of the Warriors being careless with the basketball. In fact, the Warriors turned the ball over a whopping 17 times. As a result, the Raptors turned those miscues into 24 fast-break points. And from a defensive perspective, the Warriors didn’t shine in this area, either. The Raptors shot 50.6 percent from the field and 39.4 percent from beyond the arc. When you allow a team to shoot that well, the chances of beating them are slim. If the Warriors hope to steal Game 2, they will need to play better at that end of the floor.
1. Limit production of Raptors’ role players. Kawhi Leonard has played well for the Raptors in this postseason. However, many wondered how far the Raptors could go in this series if he wasn’t scoring 30 or more points per game. Unfortunately for the Warriors, the Raptors answered that question in resounding fashion. For example, Pascal Siakam went off for 32 points on a super-efficient 14-for-17 from the field. Marc Gasol pumped in 20 points on 6-for-10 shooting to go along with seven boards and two steals. Not only that, but reserve guard, Fred VanVleet, contributed 15 points off the bench. These factors, combined with Leonard not having a great night could spell trouble for the Warriors.
On the other hand, the goal of stealing one of the first two road games is still attainable. And if the Warriors make the necessary adjustments, the series will be tied heading back to the Bay area.