TOR @ GSW
Series Tied 1-1
Spread: GSW -4.5
Odds c/o 5dimes
The Golden State Warriors bounced back from an unprecedented Finals Game 1 loss with a somewhat predictable Game 2 victory. Despite being 1-point underdogs to hosting Toronto, and despite losing Klay Thompson mid-way through the third quarter, Golden State held on with a couple of small runs to tie the series up 1-1 as it travels back to Oracle Arena. Tonight in Game 3, the Warriors are 4.5-point favorites (opened at -5.5) in a game that will tip off at 8 PM (CT) and has an over/under set at 213.5 points according to NBA oddsmakers at bookmaker 5dimes.
There are some uncertainties heading into tonight’s game, which makes betting the spread somewhat difficult. Thompson suffered a hamstring strain in Game 2, which leaves his status in question. Thompson was walking around with a little bit of a limp following his exit from the game, but the fact he was able to support himself seems to indicate it may have just been a minor strain that he will be able to play through. Certainly, the importance and gravity of this game will force him to go if he is able to. Meanwhile, DeMarcus Cousins has returned to the Warriors to become something of an actual force rather than the defensive hinderance he had been labeled by most experts prior to this series. Cousins finished with 11 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists— but he also was +12 for his 28 minutes of play, which was as good as any other Dubs’ starter.
Stephen Curry struggled badly while trying to shake an illness in Game 2, and he shot just 6 of 17 from the field en route to 23 points and four assists. Thompson was hot before going down with the injury, leading Golden State with 25 points on 10 of 17 (4 of 6 from three) shooting, to go with five assists and five rebounds. The Warriors also go a big boost from Quinn Cook in the second unit, as he filled in for Thompson quite admirably in scoring nine points, all on three-point shots. Cook was hardly counted as a present member of this team, but the Warriors showed the value of its system enhancing even the most overlooked role players.
Toronto received probably its worst game this postseason from emergent star Pascal Siakam. The Warriors were able to limit his ceaseless drives to the basket and force more mid-range looks, which was hardly to Siakam’s benefit. He shot just 5 of 18 from the floor, scoring a humble 12 points. Kawhi Leonard was typical “Klawhi” with 34 points, but he needed 20 field goals and 16 free throw attempts to reach that mark.
The Raptors shot just 37.2 percent from the field in the game and were 11 of 38 from behind the arc. Moreover, Toronto turned it over 15 times while assisting just 17 of its 35 made field goals. Better ball movement and a more decisive offense are musts for Toronto if it is to avoid falling behind 1-2 in this best of seven. Fred VanVleet kept Toronto in the game, but he was slightly inefficient in shooting 7 of 17 from the field. Regardless of that, he has still been the superior option to play compared to starting point guard Kyle Lowry, who finished with 13 points on 4 of 11 shooting before fouling out. Toronto cannot win if Leonard is the only one “playing up to snuff.”
ATS TRENDS (c/o COvers)