NBA Finals Game 3 Preview: "Going Going, Back Back, to Cali Cali."
The NBA Finals shift to Oakland for games 3 and 4 with the series even at 1-1. The Warriors were able to steal a win in Toronto thanks to a second half surge and a late game sealing three from Andre Iguodala. Toronto will look to bounce back and take the series lead while the Warriors will look to defend their home court.
Game 2 saw DeMarcus Cousins play a pivotal role in the win for Golden State as he returned to the starting lineup for the first time since his quad injury. The big man provided Golden State with the spark they needed and will look to keep that going for game 3.
Klay Thompson left game 2 in the 4th quarter due to a hamstring injury. He will be a game time decision, but I believe he will play. The Warriors can not afford to be without him for an extended period of time especially with Kevin Durant still out. Thompson's status will play a key role in the outcome of the game. The injury bug did not only hit Thompson in game 2 but also Kevon Looney suffered an injury and will miss the rest of the playoffs.
It was a big second half that led to the Warriors win in game 2. For game 3 though, they will have to get off to a better start so they don’t have to come from behind again. I expect Oracle Arena to be rowdy and for the Warriors to come out fast and furious. They have been a great team at home throughout the last few years and will need that success to continue tonight.
As for Toronto, most people wrote them off before the series even started. However, they have proven that they belong here as they have competed with the Warriors the whole way in the first two games.
Kawhi Leonard has been the impact player for the Raptors and will have to keep on doing what he’s been doing for the Raptors to have a chance. He’s been on fire all postseason long and has been a tough matchup for anyone guarding him.
Foul trouble has been a cause for concern for Toronto as some of their big players have picked up multiple fouls early on. Kyle Lowry fouled out of game 2 with just under four minutes to play. That’s a major problem as they had cut the Warriors lead down to 2 late in the game. Having Lowry out of the game during a key time hurt the Raptors as they need him to play smarter to help their chances. Marc Gasol has also found himself on the wrong end of foul trouble as well. Missing one of their top players and having another star player having to be careful of how he was playing was not ideal for a key spot in the game. The Raptors need to play smarter against the Warriors and need their stars to be in at the end of the game.
I doubt that Drake will be in attendance tonight so I already don’t like the Raptors chances. That being said even if Drizzy is there, if Klay Thompson plays I think the Warriors win game 3. If Thompson doesn’t play however, I think Toronto steals this game and takes the series lead.
Tune in tonight at 9pm EST on ABC.