NBA Finals 2019: 3 things the Golden State Warriors need to do to beat the Toronto Raptors
- During the regular season, the Raptors faced the Warriors twice and won both games. But the NBA finals is a new proposition altogether.
The Golden State Warriors, as of Thursday, May 30th, 2019, will embark on a journey to try and claim a 4th Larry O’Brien Trophy in five years. What makes this year’s effort different from the previous 4 years are the opponents.
It's been the norm, the expected, that Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and their Warriors teammates will face some version of the Cleveland Cavaliers led by LeBron James.
This is not the case in 2019. The Warriors are back but face a new and mysterious challenge in the Toronto Raptors. The Toronto Raptors are actually not that mysterious as over the last 5 seasons they have been an elite team in the NBA’s Eastern Conference.
In fact, Golden State’s old NBA Finals dance partner, the Cleveland Cavaliers have been responsible for eliminating the Raptors from the playoffs in the previous three seasons.
With LeBron James in Los Angeles this season, the Raptors proved it was his wizardry on the basketball court holding them back. Now, with Kawhi Leonard in their lineup, the Raptors are on a mission to not only appear in their first ever NBA Finals but win it as well.
During the regular season, Toronto faced the Golden State twice and won both games. One was a late November overtime thriller in which Kevin Durant scored 51 points but the Warriors were without Stephen Curry and Draymond Green in Toronto.
In mid-December at the Oracle Center, it was Toronto without Kawhi Leonard blowing out Golden State on their home-court. It’s a small sample size to judge with wild cards that may or may not mean anything. So, with a new challenge to their title here are three things Golden State needs to do to beat the Toronto Raptors:
#3 Consistency and Focus
The Golden State Warriors are capable of scoring points at a high rate. They can also defend well. Yet, one criticism that lingers with this dynasty of a team is the focus and consistency.
During the Regular season, there were 6 games in Oakland in which the Warriors suffered blowout losses on home court. OKC, Toronto, Milwaukee, Los Angeles Lakers, Boston, and Dallas all had 20 plus point wins against the Golden State.
Even if you ignore it as regular season play because it’s the playoffs that matter, Golden State has shown this tendency of inconsistent focus in the 2019 playoffs. Their first-round series against the Clippers went 6 games and one of the Warriors losses was due to a 31-point collapse. Taking nothing away from the Clippers, even the Warriors have to play 48 minutes of basketball every night.
There is also the WCF with the Warriors sweeping the Portland Trailblazers 4 straight. In three of those games, Portland held double-digit leads in the second half of those contests. One thing is a constant about the Toronto Raptors 2019 playoff run and it's that they play intense consistent defence. Golden State must stay focused and consistent in their play every game of this Finals.