Raptors vs. Warriors Game 5 TV Schedule, Live-Stream Guide for 2019 NBA FinalsJune 9, 2019
The Toronto Raptors are on the brink of winning their first NBA Finals in franchise history, but securing the Larry O'Brien Trophy will not be an easy task in Monday's Game 5 against the Golden State Warriors.
Looming over the buildup to showdown is the availability of Kevin Durant, who traveled with the Warriors to Toronto after missing the first four games of the series.
Golden State was able to take a victory from Scotiabank Arena in Game 2, but it squandered its opportunity to take control of the series by losing twice at home to the Raptors.
If Toronto closes out the series Monday, it will mark the third consecutive NBA Finals to end in four or five games.
NBA Finals Game 5 Information
Date: Monday, June 10
Start Time: 9 p.m. ET
Live Stream: Watch ESPN or ESPN app
While the Raptors should be receiving the majority of the attention in the buildup to Game 5, most people are more concerned about the status of Durant, who has not worked his way back from a calf strain.
Durant was on the flight to Toronto with his Warriors teammates, but nothing is certain about his availability yet.
As The Athletic's Anthony Slater pointed out, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr has typically announced whether a player is out the day before the game at practice.
Before his injury, Durant scored more than 20 points in each of his 11 playoff games, with his highest total being 50 in Game 6 against the Los Angeles Clippers.
If Durant is healthy, he does not have to be the Warriors' main scorer, but he needs to be a contributor in stretches and a decoy on certain possessions to stretch the Toronto defense.
Durant's presence on the court could help the productivity of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, who are both averaging more than 24 points per game in the series.
The Warriors will have to bank on experience from the 2016 Western Conference Finals against Oklahoma City to deal with playing down 3-1 in a series if Durant is unavailable.
But in that series, the Warriors had the benefit of going home to Oracle Arena for a momentum-changing Game 5 before winning Game 6 on the road.
From Toronto's perspective, it has to keep doing what gave it so much success in Games 3 and 4.
In Game 3, the Raptors shot 52.4 percent from the field, and they followed that up with a 41.9 field-goal percentage in Game 4.
Toronto also outperformed Golden State from three-point range in each of the past two games. At Oracle Arena, the Raptors made 25 three-point shots compared to 20 from the Warriors.
Kawhi Leonard has been the offensive star for the Raptors, but the difference in the NBA Finals compared to previous rounds is the scoring depth that players like Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet and Serge Ibaka have provided.
Six Toronto players are averaging 10 points or more in the series, and five of them are shooting over 40 percent from the field.
Toronto has an opportunity to overwhelm Golden State with its scoring depth and smothering defense once again to finish off the series.
Since Golden State carries so much experience on its roster, expect the Warriors to put up their biggest fight of the series, with or without Durant.
How Toronto responds to Golden State's threat will determine whether it is awarded the Larry O'Brien Trophy Monday or whether it has to earn it in either Game 6 or 7.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90. Statistics obtained from Basketball Reference.