The Toronto Raptors and Golden State Warriors are set to face off in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. Toronto has a chance to win it all, while the Warriors fight to stave off elimination. With a 3-1 series deficit, they certainly have an uphill battle to face. Currently, most sportsbooks have Toronto as the favorites at -2.5.
Toronto has a 50-53-1 record ATS. They also possess a 26-27 record at home ATS. Golden State possesses a 6-6 record as the underdog but has totaled a better overall record on the road. With a 34-17 mark, they certainly have adapted to the difficulties the road has to offer.
Limit the Fast Break
Although they won Game 4, Toronto did not do a good job of making the Warriors shooters uncomfortable. Golden State held a 34-17 advantage in fast-break points. Golden State plays an untraditional fast-break game. Instead of driving to the rim, they can set up their shooters, such as Stephen Curry, for easy baskets.
It is not as if driving to the hoop is completely eliminated from Golden State’s arsenal. They have plenty of players who can do that as well. For Toronto, it’s not only about stopping three-point shots, but also about stopping well-executed drives to the basket. This is a situation where Toronto is going to have to pick the poison they want to weed out.
Toronto needs to make sure Golden State shooters are not able to get comfortable from behind the line. They need to keep them moving off the ball and force them to take contested shots. If the Raptors can do that, they will be in good shape. Again, it is easier said than done, but Toronto has several defenders that can make it happen.
More Active Defense
Golden State needs to make sure they make Toronto’s players uncomfortable offensively. In Game 4, Toronto held the advantage in steals by a 12-6 margin.
Kawhi Leonard was very active defensively, and he had four steals of his own. Kyle Lowry and Danny Green each had three to boot. They were engaged in the game defensively, and they made life difficult for Golden State.
Andre Iguodala had three steals for the Warriors in the last game, but he cannot do it all by himself. Golden State needs to do a better job of being active against Toronto. They need to watch the dribbles of Toronto’s stars and try to see if they can put the ball loose from there.
Better From The Arc
Truthfully, both teams were abysmal from behind the three-point line. Toronto went 10-of-32 from beyond the arc, which equaled a .313 percentage. Golden State went 8-of-27, which meant they were shooting a dismal 29.6% from three-point range.
Both of these teams rely on the three-point shot to be successful. Golden State, in particular, has the players to make it happen. Sure, both teams have players that can score in the paint and also shoot three-pointers. However, the three-point shot is the bread and butter for both of these teams.
If they want to remain engaged and competitive in the game, they need to get the shots to fall.
The Toronto Raptors undoubtedly smell blood. They know they have Golden State on the ropes, and I expect them to be crowned NBA Champions in front of the home crowd. Be sure to bet Toronto in this contest.