GSW @ TOR
TOR leads 3-1
Time: 8 PM (CT), ABC/ESPN
Spread: TOR -1.5
Odds c/o 5dimes
The Toronto Raptors won by 13-points in Game 4 to take a 3-1 lead in the series as it heads back to Toronto for Game 5. The Raptors opened as 2.5-point favorites, but news of Kevin Durant potentially being available for this game has shifted the line to just 1.5-points in favor of hosting Toronto. The game will tip off at 8 PM (CT) on ABC, and the over/under is set at 214.5 points according to NBA oddsmakers at 5dimes.
Of course, Durant’s availability goes a long way towards determining the outcome of this critical game 5. Golden State’s backs are, collectively, to the wall, as Kawhi Leonard and the Raptors try to close out the series to bring Toronto its first NBA championship. With Durant even able to play half the game, though, the attitude changes— Kawhi Leonard could be slowed. Durant is perhaps the only Warrior capable of matching up well with Leonard, despite Andre Iguodala’s effort and attempts to do just that.
Leonard had 36 points on 11 of 22 shooting in Game 4, to go along with 12 rebounds, two assists, and five blocks/steals. His accomplice Pascal Siakam shot 6 of 14 to score 19 points and six rebounds from the other forward slot. Serge Ibaka came in as the third big to wreck even more devastation, as the veteran scored 20 points on 9 of 12 shooting while blocking a couple of shots. The Raptors shot just 41.9 percent from the field, but it kept its turnovers down (just nine). The Warriors also won the battle of the boards (+3). Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson combined to shoot 20 of 40 (50 percent) for 55 points between them, but the rest of the Warriors were just 15 of 38 from the field, and both Andre Iguodala and Draymond Green were near non-factors scoring the ball (combined 4 of 12 for 13 points combined).
The Warriors lack of depth has really hurt it in this series, with few options available to supplant the scoring void left by Durant. His return means everything to this series, with many boldly predicting that the Warriors can overcome the 1-3 deficit with its best wing player and best wing defender. While a significant number of analysts felt the Warriors were “good enough” even without the league MVP and perennial All-Star, it has become apparent that the Warriors need him most on the defensive end, if anything. Leonard has gone atomic in this series and throughout the playoffs, but if the Dubs have Durant to answer him with, that changes things. It will both work Leonard harder on the defensive end and provide the length and rim protection that the Warriors have mostly lacked in his absence.
ATS TRENDS (c/o Covers):