Earning a 1-0 lead on the Golden State Warriors is no small feat. The Toronto Raptors did just that when they got the jump on the two-time defending NBA champions with their 118-109 victory at Scotiabank Arena in Game 1 of the NBA Finals
If the Raptors are serious about taking the championship away from the Warriors, they most likely need to take a second consecutive game on their home court. Losing Game 2 would allow Golden State to claim home-court advantage in the series, and that might be just what Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green need to take charge of the series.
However, beating the Raptors will not be easy, especially if Toronto gets another brilliant game from Pascal Siakam. The power forward was dynamic in Game 1 with 32 points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots. Siakam made 14 of 17 shots in his signature game with the Raptors.
NBA Finals Game 2 Information
Date: Sunday, June 2
Start Time: 8 p.m. ET
Live Stream: Watch ESPN or ESPN app
While Siakam has been a key contributor throughout the playoffs, taking over the game and becoming the offensive leader was not part of the script. That role belongs to superstar Kawhi Leonard, and he did an outstanding job in a supporting role as he contributed 23 points and eight rebounds.
The Raptors also received productive games from Marc Gasol (20 points) and Fred VanVleet (15 points), and their balance was more than the Warriors could overcome.
Golden State head coach Steve Kerr was impressed with the Raptors' all-around game. "I think they're actually a lot like our team," Kerr said, per Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com. "They can switch and guard different positions. They're tough, and they get after you and play well together."
It was no surprise that Curry had a 34-point night and Thompson came through with 21 points in the Game 1 loss, but the Warriors felt the absence of Kevin Durant more in Game 1 of the NBA Finals than they did at any point in the Western Conference Finals against the Portland Trail Blazers.
The key for Golden State in Game 2 will be finding additional offense. Kerr said Durant is not going to be back for this game, per Anthony Slater of The Athletic.
That means the Warriors are going to have to find more offensive production while turning up the defensive pressure on the Raptors.
Iguodala is more of an all-around contributor than he is a big-time scorer. He is averaging 9.8 points per game in the postseason, but he is capable of playing a greater offensive role if that is what his team needs.
The Raptors are two-point favorites in Game 2 with a total set at 214.5, per VegasInsider.com.
The Warriors are feeling the absence of Durant, and any talk that the team was better without him is simply not accurate. Golden State showed it could overcome his absence against a strong Portland team, but it could not overcome the Raptors in Game 1.
It's not a matter of simply finding more offense. That is something the Warriors will have to do, but they also must turn up their defense to slow down the Raptors.
This is a game where Golden State's experience should play a key role, as the Warriors will make the small adjustments to make this game a close one.
Look for Golden State to win a surprisingly low-scoring game to pick up a key road victory and even the series.