The Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors are set to meet in Game 4 of the NBA Finals on Friday night. Currently, Toronto has a 2-1 series lead and looks to take control. Most sportsbooks have Golden State as the favorite at -4.5.
Golden State is 64-25 as the favorite this season. They are 43-56-2 ATS and 19-30-1 ATS home. Toronto has played well as the underdog, going 12-9 on the year. Overall, Toronto is 31-19 as the away team ATS.
Shooting From Deep
One of the reasons the Raptors won Game 3 was their ability to shoot the three-pointer. They went to 17-of-38 from behind the line while Golden State went 12-of-36. This breaks down to 44.7% for Toronto while the Warriors shot 33.3%.
One of the big reasons Toronto was efficient with the three ball was Danny Green. He went 6-of-10 from beyond the arc. Kyle Lowry was also efficient, going 5-of-9 from three.
Toronto needs to continue that strategy on Friday. They need to be able to continue to give Golden State a taste of their own medicine and go back and forth from beyond the arc as they did on Wednesday. If they can do that, Toronto will have a chance to take a commanding 3-1 series lead.
The defense of the Raptors swarmed Golden State on Wednesday. They had 10 blocks in comparison to the three totaled by the Warriors. Golden State needs to do a better job of contesting shots inside the paint and putting their hands up for any shot that comes near the rim.
Serge Ibaka, a player known for his solid defensive efforts, led Toronto with six blocks on Wednesday. Jordan Bell contributed two of his own for the Warriors.
In order for Golden State to increase their block totals, they need to get more out of center Andrew Bogut. He had zero blocks in 22 minutes of play, and that needs to change. If he, along with the rest of the Warriors, make a concerted effort in blocking shots, they will have a chance to even the series.
Attack The Paint
One of the areas where Toronto and Golden State were even on Wednesday were points in the paint. Toronto held a two-point advantage at 38-36. Both teams did a nice job of exploiting one another’s weaknesses inside.
That is an area where both teams can succeed and find points. Both teams have players that are multi-dimensional. Sometimes, you think of Stephen Curry as only a three-point shooter, and suddenly he is on his way to the rim on a drive. Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry can force defenders to respect their games on the perimeter with the way they play, and that leaves them the ability to drive to the basket.
I would take Golden State in this one. They’re going to be hungry to even the series, and although they will be down Kevin Durant, I expect the others to pick up the slack.