Despite a 20-0 run for the Warriors between the second and third quarter and a classic Klay Thompson game, the Raptors were thiiiiiiiiis close to a three-on-one fastbreak that would have tied Game 2 and sent it to overtime.
C’mon, Kawhi! Run that exact play back 10 times, right, and Kawhi is stealing that ball at least eight of those times.
He is on a short list of NBA players most equipped to make that play.
Instead, we got this:
Oh well. The voice calling out from the most optimistic outpost of your brain, promising a 2-0 lead for Toronto, which came strangely close to being possible right after the first half of last night’s Game 2, was a mirage. The fading dream of a new champion and an argument against your annoying friend who doesn’t like the NBA whose go-to line is tHe sAme tEaM wiNs eVeRy yEAr will be right again.
Your favorite NBA newsletter will take another moment to be unnecessarily dramatic.
But hey, at least we can all cash in on a free taco on June 18th.
Now, here are some game-related thoughts.
Boogie, you're validated
In his fourth playoff game ever, DeMarcus Cousins shook off some early cobwebs and impacted the game in almost every way, finishing with 11 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and a plus-12 on the floor.
On offense, he adds another passing big man alongside Draymond Green, who can grab the ball around the top of the key and hit a cutter for a layup. He did that numerous times last night.
He also had his playoff moment, which validates his free agency pay cut and his quest for a quick ring. When he’s dancing shirtless during the parade in a few weeks, it’ll be at least semi-acceptable.
Iggy's perfect career arc
There are so few NBA players who start their careers as fringe No. 1 options and end their careers as great role players.
Stephon Marbury, Steve Francis, Tracy McGrady, and Gilbert Arenas, to name a few, were all guys who were good enough to be go-to players but not good enough to drive consistent winning. It ended badly for all of them.
Andre Iguodala was always good enough to be the best guy on a .500 team, but he had a higher basketball calling than that, and he went and found it with the Warriors.
Yesterday’s dagger 3-pointer was another moment for him as an important part of an iconic NBA dynasty. History will remember him just as it remembers Horace Grant, Kenny Smith, Robert Horry, Danny Ainge, Shane Battier and Dave Twardzik.
Drake, what have you done?
Drake, a surprisingly hulky egotistical cyst that plops itself near NBA players during basketball games, tuned it down a little last night after wearing Dell Curry’s Toronto jersey in Game 1.
He still got the attention he so sought with this picture on the back of his sweatshirt.
Which prompted this tweet.
Geez, if the Home Alone kid actually shows up Drake’s going to have some explaining to do. It might even mean a comeback for BBQ Betty.
Is this series over?
No, but once the Warriors win the next three it will be.
Steve Kerr has talked about the weight and pressure of being on that 1998 Chicago Bulls team, which almost lost to the Pacers in the conference finals and needed a near-miracle performance from MJ against the Jazz in the Finals to finish off a second three-peat.
Now he’s the coach of another dynastic team whose run might be coming to a close. This series will be a rock right like Game 2 was, where even the Warriors’ 20-0 run was done mostly on layups and defense, different aesthetically than their usual rain-making approach.
But Golden State isn’t going for style anymore. They’re going for a fourth title in five years, and all it has to do is win three of the next five, with a Kevin Durant return lurking.
The Raptors of late have done nothing short of shock the NBA world, and that probably still won’t be enough to win a title, which is a testament to Golden State much more than a knock on Toronto.
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