NBA Starting Lineups and Match Prediction - Toronto Raptors vs Golden State Warriors - Game 3

2019 NBA Finals - Game Two
2019 NBA Finals - Game Two

The Toronto Raptors travel to Oakland for Game 3 of the NBA Finals fully aware that they let one slip right through their fingers.

The Raptors led by as many as 12 points in the first half in Game 2, but a Golden State Warriors blitz early in the third quarter took them completely unawares.

Now, with the series evenly poised at 1-1, there is all to play for in Game 3 at the Oracle Arena. Both teams head into this game pretty banged up and it remains to be seen which side can get themselves up and ready for this crucial encounter.

Golden State Warriors perspective

2019 NBA Finals - Game Two
2019 NBA Finals - Game Two

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The Warriors entered the series without Kevin Durant after he had limped off during Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals against Houston.

Durant is expected to play a part in this series, but Game 3 could come a bit too early for him. With the Warriors stealing a game on the road, they are unlikely to risk Durant until he is fully fit.

Kevon Looney and Klay Thompson both exited Game 3 with injuries of their own. Thompson has since been listed as questionable although he confirmed he is 'fine' and unlikely to sit out the game at the Oracle.

Looney, on the other hand, suffered a non-displaced first costal cartilage fracture and is expected to miss the remainder of the series.

A boost for the Warriors would be the return to form of DeMarcus Cousins, who sparkled in the previous game on both ends of the floor. Cousins' season has been ravaged by injuries, but he finally looks to be coming into his own and will play a major role in the final few games of the series.

Predicted Starting Lineup: Andre Iguodala, Draymond Green, DeMarcus Cousins, Klay Thompson, and Stephen Curry.

Toronto Raptors perspective

2019 NBA Finals - Game Two
2019 NBA Finals - Game Two

The Raptors have concerns of their own. All-Star Kawhi Leonard is still battling the knee injury he suffered earlier in the playoffs.

Despite that though, he has continued to put up astounding numbers. Leonard led the Raptors in scoring in the previous game, finishing with 34 points and 14 rebounds. However, he received little to no support from the stars of Game 1, Marc Gasol and Pascal Siakam, who were both shut down by the Warriors defence.

The Raptors also need bigger contributions from the likes of Danny Green and Serge Ibaka if they are to try and regain home-court advantage.

The Raptors will receive a boost with the return of OG Anunoby who was made active in Game 2 and could feature sometime down the line.

Predicted Starting Lineup: Kawhi Leonard, Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol, Kyle Lowry and Danny Green.

How things might unfold

The Warriors secured their first win against Toronto this season and will ride that wave of confidence into Game 3. The Warriors have won 5 straight at home in the playoffs and I don't see the Raptors getting anything out of this.

Their high-flying offence was shut down in Game 2 and it remains to be seen if Nick Nurse can make the right adjustments heading into this fixture.

Prediction: Golden State Warriors to beat Toronto Raptors

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Edited by Sripad
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