The Raptors struck first in the NBA Finals, finding a way to slow the Warriors’ attack and even extend their bench a bit. Did it all work? Let’s look into the numbers. This series, a Finals showdown with the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors, is one of the hardest to prepare for. The Warriors can be such a different team depending on how hard they feel they need to try, so projecting anything from the regular season, or their performance in terms of metrics, is an impossible task.
So we’ll just take each game as an opportunity to reflect on what worked and what didn’t in that specific contest, and hope those trends hold up if the Raptors try to learn from them.
Raptors coach Nick Nurse said before the game that he wanted to run out ten guys and see who stuck. With OG Anunoby still out for at least Game 1, though hopefully available for Game 2, Nurse went with a nine-man rotation: the obvious eight from last series, plus Patrick McCaw.
Now, as I warned before Game 1, extending the bench to include even OG comes with risks — if Toronto plays too many bench …
Author: Daniel Hackett / Raptors HQ