Raptors beat Warriors in Game 1 of NBA Finals
It's amazing how quickly sports narratives change, is not it? The Golden State Warriors win five straight playoff games without Kevin Durant, and all that is said is about how they do not need it. The same Warriors lose Game 1 against the Toronto Raptors, and the "Warriors sink without Durant". The bus is in the fifth gear towards a loss in the NBA Finals and a summer of fatality when Durant leaves.
Let's keep this in perspective, okay?
Yes, the Raptors beat the Warriors in Game 1, 118-109, in almost every conceivable way. They were harder. They were more aggressive. His defense was suffocating. Pascal Siakam and Marc Gasol were nothing less than brilliant. The Toronto crowd was in a full-fledged frenzy. The warriors were careless or rusty. Or maybe both. His transition defense was a disaster. The Raptors were better, and frankly, anyone who is surprised by the way this game developed was not paying attention.
That 5-0 record that the Warriors accumulated without Durant was misleading, after all. Both games they won against Houston were five points with five minutes to play. In the conference finals, they dragged the Blazers by 17 in each of the last three games. Yes, they won those games and showed that they are a great team even without Durant. But they do not have the same margin of error, and the Rockets and the Blazers are not the Raptors. Golden State has to be in its A game for at least stretches of games to beat the elite teams without Durant, and the simple truth is that they played a C game the best on Thursday.