January 21, 2022
NBA Playoffs Record: (66-38-3, +70.5 units)
Plays will be posted an hour before tip of first game.
9:07 PM EST
Warriors ML -110 (3u)
Over 216 (2u)
Klay Thompson Points+Assists O24.5 +105 (1u)
This has been a wild series and since Game 1 which I predicted almost spot on soup to nuts it has since been a difficult one to predict. I never envisioned the champs losing both home games in Oracle to fall to a 3-1 deficit. That said, Game 3 should have been easy to predict in hindsight. With Klay and Looney both out that would have been like picking the Bulls to win with Pippen and Rodman out of action. That was just a game the Raptors were never going to lose. Game 4 was a great bounce back spot on paper but in hindsight a terrible one situationally — the Warriors were shorthanded and only had one day rest after playing the starters for the majority of the Game 3 blowout and they just faded in the second half.
Now the Warrior’s back are truly against the wall and even though this team has historically burned me fading or backing over the past three finals, I can’t help but back them once again in this spot. There is a lot of uncertainty in this game obviously with Durant’s status, but even at 60% he will provide a big boost. Even if he is limited, just having him out on the floor causes the Raptors to focus on him defensively which will take some of the pressure off of Curry and Thompson and will also provide a huge emotional boost. We just saw Golden State at their playoff worst in that ugly Game 4 loss. But I expect to see a refocused effort tonight and a better night on the defensive end with a healthier Klay Thompson. I also expect to see Golden State attack at the offensive end, rather than wilting when passing lanes close early in a possession like they did in Game 4.
Toronto has been excellent in this series on the defensive end no question but there has also been a lot of poor shooting for the Warriors and these guys won’t stay cold forever. With Durant playing he will he add to the scoresheet and also really open things up for the Warrior’s offense. The Warriors are struggling on defense and I think for these next three games if it comes to it that they will rely on their offense to get back into this series. I expect a high scoring game and the heart of champions cannot be ignored. The Warriors are going to need to get 40+ points out of their role players tonight if they want to win this game, but in a do or die, I look for the whole team to rise to the occasion. This series doesn’t end tonight. Take the Warriors.