What we’re talking about: Toronto Kawhi-etly on the cusp of first NBA title
It’s not like the Golden State Warriors haven’t had their backs to the wall before, but this feels different. It feels different because they are on the brink of elimination against a Toronto team that has played with better effort, better execution and maybe most important, a heightened sense of urgency.
Take all that into account and you have the Raptors heading home for Game 5 with a chance to claim the first NBA title in franchise - and their country's - history.
And while some will point to the absence of Kevin Durant (calf) for the series, that shouldn’t diminish what Toronto has been able to accomplish in this series.
Again, Toronto hasn’t controlled this series because they have been at the top of their game. They have had more than their share of rough patches every game thus far. But they managed to do just enough to do what was necessary to win, whether it was knocking down a ton of shots or lock down defensively. With or without Durant in the series, the Raptors are playing like a team that refuses to go away without bringing the Larry O'Brien Trophy with them.
What we’ll be watching: Durant to the rescue?
With their playoff lives on the line, the only real wrinkle Golden State can throw out there now is the return of Durant, who hasn’t played in about a month.
Because everything else Golden State has done up to this point hasn’t been enough to knock out a Toronto team that has shown itself to be more than just the Kawhi Leonard Show in winning back-to-back games on the Warriors' home floor with a chance to do what no team has ever done - bring an NBA title to Canada.
“We don’t care who gets the shine. Whoever’s night it is, that’s whose night it is.” - Kawhi Leonard after Raptors Game 4 win.
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