Cram
Earlier this year

NBA Finals

Wow!

Its been nearly 24 hours and I'm still getting used to the fact that the Raptors will be in the NBA Finals. Yesterday was a helluva day and I gotta say I enjoyed every second!

Now that we're down to 2, does anyone rate the Raptors a chance of taking this? My answer would be...no, really no, what are you nuts?

If the Warriors are all (or even mostly) healthy and available and playing anywhere near their best they'll roll the Raptors in 4 or 5.

For the Raptors to make this even close they'll have to be playing at their peak (- which means role players like Powell, Ibaka, Gasol and FVV doing what they did in the ECF and Danny Green finding his game. Even with all that we'll still need Kawhi, Lowry and Siakam to perform some heroics.

If the Warriors' injuries to guys like Iggy, KD and Cousins linger, that leaves the door a little open.

I'm not saying its likely, but its possible with a little luck.

Hope its a good series.

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MACDUB  
Earlier this year

GSW should win 4-1 IMO. It won't even be close.

Durant's absence doesn't mean anything - they are still 31-1 when Durant is out but Curry plays. Its plain absurd.

The only way it gets close is if the refs/Silver get involved - which they will probably try and do in my opinion if the Raptors are down in the series early.

In any event, I won't be watching. I couldn't really care less; the NBA want to make you believe that GSW can be beaten - I mean look at their recent advertisements around the "IF" theme - 'anyone can win the title' rubbish.

This series (and its result) will plummet the NBA into further depths of "unwatchability"; and hopefully it does, if that's why it takes for things to change.

At least I've still got Rugby *loveheart*

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Hogwash  
Earlier this year

Sadly the result is probably a forgone conclusion.
Would love to see raptors push it to at least six games.

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Cram  
Earlier this year

I don't blame you to be honest. I likely wouldn't watch much of the Finals if the Raptors weren't in. I watched a total of 2.5 games in the NBA Finals between 2017 and 2018.

Having said that, the "unwatchability" is down to a freak series of events (MVP on crazy cheap deal, another MVP becoming available at the time the salary cap exploded). I'm not sure there is much the NBA can change right now. With any luck, KD leaves GSW this summer and normality will resume.

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MACDUB  
Earlier this year

I don't disagree Cram. There was a freak series of events.

But I think the NBA made two errors:

1. From memory they raised the cap with a big leap a few years ago. It was a very big leap from previous trends. This allowed them to keep players; and

2. The luxury tax scheme hasn’t disincentivised super teams to the designed extent because teams can simply offset the tax from the crazy extra revenue they get from their success.

In an ideal world a hard cap would be good to see.

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Cram  
Earlier this year

Yeah I was in favour of some kind of equalisation on the cap raise - with such a big raise, why not raise every contracted player's salary by that same rate? That would have meant ALL players would have been able to share in the new cap, rather than those who just happened to be free agents that year (Mozgov!). This would have prevented KD from fitting into the Warriors team.

I don't think you'll ever see a hard cap. The players will never allow it.

I think for the most part the repeater tax will do its trick. If GSW keep Klay, Dray and KD at the amounts they will surely command, they will be past the tax threshold with just 4 players. This will surely hurt them in a couple years.

Its not ideal for the next couple of years, but I think it will end soon.

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AngusH  
Earlier this year

Raptors' formula for success is pretty similar to the Cavs with LBJ - keep Warriors under 100, and Kawhi needs to be the best player on the court. It's possible, but more likely they lose in 5 or 6 games I think.

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Smith  
Earlier this year

Raptors in 7 if KD doesn't return.

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Cram  
Earlier this year

Even without KD the Warriors are strong favourites, but it certainly makes it more interesting. The Warriors aren't as deep as they were in the pre-KD era, so they would need Steph and Klay to be hot the whole time (which is entirely possible) with Dray doing what he does best.

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Craig  
Earlier this year

If the Raptors continue to get the same stellar play from Kawhi, if Gasol & Siakim raise their level of play even more and Lowry continues to shoot the 3 ball well, mix that with their bench players stepping up, I see it going to Golden State in 4 games.

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Hogwash  
Earlier this year

Didn't realise Toronto had home court advantage.
GSW will still win 4-2 or 4-0.

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Anonymous  
Earlier this year

I can't imagine the Raptors don't win at least 1 game. Golden State will be coming off rest, and won't push KD or Cousins to get on the court unless they're down a game. Green has been sensational for them and played with real urgency even in games 3 and 4 against Portland when he could have slowed down. But the gap between Steph/Klay/Draymond and Kawhi/Lowry/Siakam is nowhere near big enough that I'd bet on the Warriors in less than 6. It wouldn't surprise me if it's a complete reversal of the ECF pattern for Toronto - go up 2-0 at home then lose 4 straight.

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Bizzy  
Earlier this year

I don't disagree Cram. There was a freak series of events.

But I think the NBA made two errors:

1. From memory they raised the cap with a big leap a few years ago. It was a very big leap from previous trends. This allowed them to keep players; and

2. The luxury tax scheme hasn't disincentivised super teams to the designed extent because teams can simply offset the tax from the crazy extra revenue they get from their success.

In an ideal world a hard cap would be good to see.


I believe the NBA tried to smooth the cap spike over a number of years, but the NBAPA canned that idea as it impacted on the player's ability to 'earn'.

I would be concerned that it could happen again - I still don't think they have fully accounted for the streaming rights and worldwide growth under the current agreements.

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LV  
Earlier this year

Warriors in 6 or 7

Curry and Thompson will have a couple of off nights each, Kawhi will keep being Kawhi and Toronto will make this interesting.

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Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Raptors just played their final. They won't be close to GSW with or without Durant. Warriors in 4, although Raptors could pinch 1 game.

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Perthworld  
Earlier this year

Congratulations Cram for sticking with the Raptors through the hard times unlike most people who simply bandwagon onto a winning team. *pokes a stick at Lakers fans*

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Hoopie  
Earlier this year

Agree that Raptors have played their final.

4-1 unless conspiracy theorists are right and the NBA top brass pressures Warriors to keep the series alive by deliberately losing.

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Perthworld  
Earlier this year

Anything can happen after the 2016 NBA Finals where the refs all over a sudden changed their interpretation on allowable defense. #Believeland *cough* *cough*

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Cram  
Earlier this year

1-0 Raptors!

Leave those brooms in the closet lads!

Warriors clearly rusty. This was the one game the Raptors had to win. They could easily lose the next 4 but the Raptors winning a game 1 at home is always cause for celebration!

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Luuuc  
Earlier this year

Leave those brooms in the closet lads!

Not so fast, dude. There's still a chance they will be required ;)

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Hogwash  
Earlier this year

DeMarcus Cousins is back.

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Cram  
Earlier this year

That was painful.

So many stupid fouls, especially in the first half to keep the Warriors in it and help Curry fund his groove. Then so many sloppy turnovers again to basically gift the warriors a run. Once the Warriors got up they smelled blood and went for the kill. Raptors were lucky to have it as close as they did late with Thompson out.

Really had a chance to go up 2-0 and let it slip.

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Luuuc  
Earlier this year

Had 2 chances really.
As someone supporting the Warriors those last 6 minutes were painful, and not just because they seemed to take 46 minutes of actual time (with 40 of them being commercials and replay reviews). Klay was out injured. Cousins was fatigued. Everyone else was hesitant and chokey. 6 minutes without scoring a point.
But Toronto just refused to take advantage. They might have blown the series right there.

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Greggo  
Earlier this year

Next game Toronto's chance to pounce. GS are dealing with a lot of niggling injuries (and possible DNPs- Durant, Iggy, Klay, Looney, DMC). Toronto grab a game in Cali and the series evens right up again.

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Greggo  
Earlier this year

New just came in. Looney out for season. Klay questionable.

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Hoopie  
Earlier this year

More minutes for the Bogeyman!

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Cram  
Earlier this year

2-1!

With no Klay (and still no KD) the Raps HAD to win that game. They definitely came out with the right mentality and played well, but it still took them 46 minutes to put the Warriors away.

I thought it was the worst reffed game of the series so far and favoured the Raps, which probably just helped enough to stave off the nerves of the Warriors bringing the game back to a 1-2 posession game a couple of times.

Seeing Danny Green go off from 3 was a relief. Hope he can keep it up. Obviously we can't expect 6 threes a game from him, but if he can hit at his average clip that frees up Lowry, Siakam and Kawwhi to do their thing.

Steph was amazing. Very nearly won a game on his own with Dray, a bunch of old guys (Livingston, Iggy, Bogut), fringe rotation guys (Cook, McKinnie, Bell) and a broken Cousins.

Klay coming back should put them back to favourites in any one game, but without KD the series is probably 50-50 now. IF KD comes back anywhere near his best, the Warriors should be able to wrap this up, but at the moment that is still a big IF


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Cram  
Earlier this year

Forgot to mention, Bogut was huge in this one. Great D and the right place at the right time on offense. Reckon he might start the next one.

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Cram  
Earlier this year

Raptors are one win away, but KD is back in the Warriors line up for Game 5. If KD manages to lead them to victory in 7 it'll do a lot for his legacy.

So damn nervous about this one.

Go Raptors!

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TH62  
Earlier this year

If Toronto take the 3rd quarter they will win.
We The North :)

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Anonymous  
Earlier this year

KD re-injured. Series over.

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Cram  
Earlier this year

Raptors lost their chance their. Fought their way back into the game, had Kawhi on a tear up 6 with 3 minutes to go and take a time out. Out of the time out they go passive and the Warriors go on a 9-0 run to seal the game.

Awful time out. I'll never understand why you take a time out when you have a team on the ropes like that.

Then 1 down with the ball and 15 seconds we muck around with it and get off a late prayer with no chance at a rebound or hack em for another chance at a winner. Sure the Warriors D was good, but you've gotta get something early.

With KD out for the rest of the series the Raptors SHOULD win one of the next 2 on balance, but this Warriors team still has 3 of the 4 best players and a history of pulling out a win with odds against them. I hope we don't look back on that final 3 minutes as the "what could have been".


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Cram  
Earlier this year

I'm nervous. At least this time I don't have any meetings in my way so will be heading to the pub to watch the game.

Looney is apparently good to go...somehow. Lost in all the KD stuff is how big of an effort Kevon is putting in to be on the floor. Respect.

Go Raptors!

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Anonymous  
Earlier this year

VanVleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet!

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Hogwash  
Earlier this year

One of my mates is crapping on that Toronto deserve an asterisk next to their title due to Golden State injuries.
I don't buy into that nor would I ever say if only Childress didn't get injured in his grand final series.
Toronto were the better team congratulations to them.

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Lovebroker  
Earlier this year

To those GSW fans that was a foot note of playoff injuries against Toronto.

a) GSW's first championship (2015) was against a Cavaliers team with no Kyrie or Love.
b) When Kyrie and Love were healthy GSW lost despite being 3-1 up.
c) Zaza took out Kawhi when SAS were up by 20 in GSW 2017.
d) Chris Paul was injured in Game 6 in 2018 and out for Game 7 in Houston.

GSW has been one of the greatest beneficiaries of injuries to others in modern history.

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Cram  
Earlier this year

I don't care how many *** people wanna put on this, I'm stoked!

The Warriors were gutsy as though. Hanging in there with all those guys hurt. Looking at that effort, anyone who thinks a fully fit Warriors wouldn't have steamrolled any team 4-0 is kidding themselves. But that's sport.

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Perthworld  
Earlier this year

Lovebroker thanks for that excellent summary although the GSW tards will still think they got hard done by despite previous luck.

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