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Posted at 11:45 AM EST.
8:07 PM EST. Let’s discuss Game 1. The outcome was not that difficult to “predict” and as we stated in our pre-game write-up, the betting line strongly suggested that the Raptors were going to win. Everything was lined up right for that to happen. Boogie Cousins was maybe going to play, Kevin Durant was definitely not going to play, the Raps were about to play their biggest game in franchise history surrounded by a tsunami of energy and excitement and the Raps were ready and confident. Meanwhile, the Warriors were off for 10 days and they looked like it.
Golden State shot 36% in the first half while turning it over 10 times and they weren’t getting back on defense. Their offensive and defensive rotations were completely out of rhythm but with six minutes left in the game, the Warriors were stuck a measly four points before the Raps went on a strong run to close the deal. Outside of Steph, nobody played well. That said, the Warriors did a very good job on Kawhi. By contrast, EVERYBODY played well for Toronto. Marc Gasol had his best game ever as a Rap. Pascal Siakam was 14 out of 17, Fred VanVleet was throwing up crap from everywhere and sinking it. Danny Green had a horrible series v Milwaukee ---he was good in Game 1 and so was Kyle Lowry. Everything went right for the Raps including a great start and anyone that was watching ---even the Warriors -- had to be feeling like it was just Toronto’s night.
The talk the past couple of days on all the sports radio and TV programs is that the Warriors are in trouble. The talk is that Toronto, with its length, defense and experience is the better team and once again, we’ll turn to one of our strategies, which is playing against overreactions. A ton of the betting market that were behind the Warriors in Game 1 are now bailing and when the market jumps off, we like to jump on.
One of the strengths of a “dynasty” is resilience. In the five times that Steve Kerr has trailed in a series, the Warriors have won the next game all five times. We have great respect for the Raps and understand that they’re length or experience are not going away. The Warriors have to deal with it the entire series. Gasol, Kawhi, Lowry, Serge Ibaka and Danny Green have all played a ton of NBA games and a ton of BIG NBA games but Golden State could not have played worse than they did in Game 1 and frankly, the Raps couldn’t have played better. No chance that the Raps are going gate to wire again in Game 2. No chance of the Warriors not making massive adjustments and figuring out more ways to score and to defend better. Finally, Toronto beat Golden State twice during the regular season and now once in the playoffs. No team has been able to beat the Warriors like that in five years or four times in a playoff series in five years either, outside of Lebron’s Cavs in a thrilling seven game series. The Warriors are still a -160 to win the series but more importantly, we must play the Warriors based off of the market overreacting to what they saw last.
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Golden State +116 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.32)