The moment when Siakam gets the ball here, he is behind every Golden State defender, but watch what happens as he pushes it up the court past the entire Warrior defense, catches Livingston asleep and now Green has to close out leaving Danny Green wide open in the corner and he knocks down the three.
The aggressiveness in transition was there from Toronto throughout the entire game, and on the opposite side Golden State seemed confused and discombobulated as they weren’t able to keep up with this pace.
But this is only a small part of the problem for Steve Kerr. Let me explain the rest of it. What up everybody my name is Stefan and this is Heat Check. Let’s get into it.
The Raptors ended the game with 24 fast break points which is crazy considering the fact that the Warriors came into this game ready and well rested with 9 days off.
Basically this is how Pascal Siakam got a large portion of his 32 points that I’m sure came as a shock to everyone watching the game.
What I loved however is the other way that he scored. By putting his head down and going hard to the basket.
And that was the case for a lot of guys on that team. Look at Marc Gasol here. After getting the switch he’s going to wrestle with Curry, not wanting to get out of this area. And the whole team is patiently waiting and moving the ball so that at the end it finds its way to Gasol and he can easily shoot over Steph here.
Another example here. Trailing the play, he runs straight down the middle all the way to the basket and there is no way for the smaller Warrior defenders to stop that.
To me the Raptors big men need to take every opportunity they can to punish these small lineups that Steve Kerr plays.
And in this game they were able to take advantage of that ending game 1 with 40 points in the paint.
Let’s see what type of adjustments Golden State make as a team, because looking at these matchups 1 on 1 I really feel like Toronto definitely has the edge here.
And I have to emphasize, the Raptors were phenomenal on defense. They forced 16 turnovers and overall played great on ball defense. Both the guards Lowry and especially Van Vleet, as well as big guys like Gasol on the help, which I was pleasantly surprised by as I was doubting if he would even be playable in this series against the fast moving Golden State.
And speaking of them, for the Warriors there wasn’t really anyone past Steph and Klay making any kind of impact on offense. And despite what anyone says, I’m sure that they would love to have KD back in the roster right now.
Although judging by the return of Cousins, who had no contribution in this game, who knows how efficient will Durant be when he comes back. Well if he comes back first and foremost.
And on the topic of injuries, last thing I need to say for all of you to notice. Kawhi Leonard is clearly playing injured ever since the Milwaukee series.
You can see him limping, wincing and just not being able to explode. In my opinion he’s playing 2 speeds slower than he normally can. But he’s giving 110% effort, willing himself and his team all the way to the finals and to a game 1 victory. This is next level type of hero mode. Huge shoutout to Kawhi.
For game 2 we can all say that the Warriors will come out with a sense of urgency that they obviously didn’t have in the finals opener. And the fact that they played really badly and still were in the game all the way till the end, makes things scary for Toronto.
I can’t wait to see where things go from here.
That’s it for now. If you liked this video, subscribe and hit the notification bell so that you don’t miss my future in depth analysis. Talk to you in the next one. Peace out.