As massive underdogs against one of the greatest dynasties in basketball history, the Raptors needed to do several things to even have a chance against this Warriors squad. One of those things is defending their home court. Toronto has one of the loudest crowds in the league and coming into the series it was paramount they managed to harness the energy their home town gives them.
They took care of business in Game 1. In Game 2, it looked like the Raptors would continue doing just that. Steph Curry started the night ice cold, Andre Iguodala, Klay Thompson, and Kevon Looney all went down with injuries at one point or another during the game, and the Raptors were rolling.
Then a classic Warriors third quarter explosion occurred, a scene we’ve seen over and over during their run of dominance. They came out of the gate at the half, scoring 18 points before Toronto even had a basket. They didn’t give up the lead after that, resulting in a Game 2 victory, 109-104, and a huge blown chance by Toronto.
Simply put, the Raptors had to head to the Bay area up 2-0 in the series. It was going to be hard enough to beat this team before giving up home court advantage. Their play throughout was matter for concern as well. Kawhi Leonard couldn’t hit a shot all night when he wasn’t getting swarmed by multiple Warriors defenders, and as a whole their transition defense was lacking and there were a lot of sloppy turnovers. The Warriors’ big run in the third came on a series of cuts to the basket and layups, easily preventable baskets that the Raptors failed to stop. Their decision to not foul anyone other than Curry at the end of the game doomed them to an Iguodala three-pointer that would finish them off for good.
The Warriors were shorthanded and wounded, and the Raptors couldn’t take advantage. Whenever they got close, they couldn’t make that one shot that would bring them to within striking distance of the lead. DeMarcus Cousins played an outstanding game, but he can’t be the Warrior that beats your team. If he is, then the outlook isn’t good. And right now, the outlook is quite bleak for Toronto.