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Warriors – Raptors

Warriors Raptors Game 4 finals handicapping

The Golden State Warriors will host the Toronto Raptors in Game 4 of the NBA Finals on Friday night, with the Warriors now down 1-2 in the series and facing an almost must win situation.

The Warriors faced a huge challenge on Wednesday night in Game 3, having to play without Klay Thompson, in addition to the absences of Kevin Durant and Kevon Looney. The Warriors did their best and Steph Curry had a colossal 47 point night, but he got absolutely no help from his teammates, and Golden State lost 109-123 – handing back home court advantage to the Raptors, after initially stealing it in Game 2 in Toronto.

The Raptors clearly had some pressure on them in Game 3, as the absence of Klay Thompson was a huge opportunity – in fact, definitely their best opportunity to win a game at Oracle Arsena, something which they needed to do in order to have a chance at winning the finals. The Raptors took the challenge, stepped up and played an excellent game, being in control from start to finish and managing to close the door on a few Warriors runs.

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Team news: The Warriors continue to miss Durant and Looney, but Klay Thompson is highly expected to return after sitting out Game 3 (Steve Kerr`s words). The Raptors are fully healthy.

The shorthanded Warriors lost Game 3 by 14 points, but in all honesty there are a ton of positives to be taken from that game. The Dubs stayed within 8-10 points most game despite the fact that, aside from Curry, everybody played abysmal, and they shot less than 40% from the field as a team (and 33% from three). Cousins was horrific, Green was poor and nobody could hit a shot. On the other hand the Raptors had a historic night, shooting 52-45-95 as a team, almost unheard of in the finals. All starters scored 17+ points, and all players (!!) shot at least 50% from the field.

If the Warriors managed to stay in touching distance considering the circumstances above, chances are they would win Game 4 at home even with the same lineups. The Warriors will surely play better (Draymond Green virtually promised it, and when he puts himself on the spot like that, he always delivers), while the Raptors can`t possibly shoot this well again.

You can argue that Steph Curry won`t go for 47 again, but first of all why not (?), and second of all he doesn`t need to. In fact, they`d be better off with him scoring 30 and the rest of the guys contributing.

So I would be confident in a Warriors win even with the same lineups as in Game 3, but Klay Thompson is expected to return, and that completely shifts the balance. With him on the floor (even if he`s not 100% healthy, his presence changes everything) the Dubs should even up the series. It`s hard to see them falling down 3-1 in the finals with two consecutive home losses.

Look for the Dubs to come out with great intensity after that horrible Game 3 showing, and look for Green and Cousins to play with urgency and contribute (much) more.

My tip will be the Warriors to win straight up with 10/10 stakes. I am really tempted to take the -5 handicap, but I`m holding out on that just in case Thompson won`t play (highly unlikely) … as without him I would still trust the Warriors to win, but I would be unsure about the point spread. Prediction: Golden State Warriors – Toronto Raptors 114 – 100.

Pick: Warriors
Odds: 1.53 @ William Hill
Stake: 10
Possible profit: 5.30
Event date: 8 June

About Rostick

Former bookie & water polo player. Rugby Union expert. - EDITOR INFO & STATS
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