Game 1 thoughts here. I was trying to decide if I was going to say anything about Game 2 of the NBA Finals. Mostly because I only watched 1.75 quarters of the game. I missed most of the first half because I was outside enjoying time with my family. Who knew multiple games of horseshoes would be so much fun? Also, who knew two janky lefthanders would dominate those games? I’m not left handed and yes I’m still salty. There is one similar theme from those horseshoe games and Game 2 of the NBA Finals…just win.
The Warriors entered Game 2 without Kevin Durant once again and had to hear about all the issues of Game 1. Then by the end of the night they had 2 more injures – one to Klay Thompson and one to Kevon Looney – to deal with. Klay is expected to play tonight in Game 3 despite having issues with his hamstring and Looney is out the remainder of this series. Oh and Durant is out again. Back to Game 2, Klay was having a solid game before his injury and the Warriors were playing better defense. Steph did an excellent job of making the right plays to help his team win while having a bad shooting night. Draymond was an assist shy of another triple double. Golden State also got timely shooting from reserve guard Quinn Cook and an unexpected 11 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists stat line from DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins. After Game 1 it looked as if Boogie wouldn’t be able to play in this series. Then there was the last 3 by Andre Iguodala to seal the game. More on that later.
Toronto had plenty of chances to win Game 2. They built a nice lead in the first half before letting it slip a bit before halftime. Then they got hit by the Warriors 3rd Quarter. The Warriors ramped up defensively. Closing out better on shooters and challenging shots. One play that sticks out from the first half is Pascal Siakam beating Klay backdoor for an easy attempt. Klay recovered to challenge the shot and it resulted in Pascal missing. The Raptors shot 35/94 overall and 11/38 from 3. Kawhi Leonard scored 34 points with half coming from the free throw line. He also was a dismal 2/9 from 3. Fred VanVleet scored 17 off the bench but required 17! shots to do so. Marc Gasol went missing and Siakam did not repeat his Game 1 feats. Pascal was 5/18 from the field. I’m going to call out his shot chart again cause it’s amazing. Siakam only took 5 shots outside of the paint. He missed all 5 with 3 attempts coming from behind the arc. He took 13 shots at SIX FEET or less from the basket. In a 5 point defeat, that’s a lot of missed easy ones. Kyle Lowry was a whopping -17 plus/minus before fouling out with 13 points and 2 assists. The Raptors have to find a way to get more from him.
This game will be remembered for how close Kawhi came to a near steal. That play led to a no look pass from Shaun Livingston for an open 3 by Andre Iguodala. But when we look closer we’ll see that the Warriors buckled down and played solid defense. They held Toronto to 14 made field goals in the 2nd half. Toronto took 48 shots in that half. Unfortunately for Toronto close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.