The Toronto Raptors have reclaimed home court advantage in the 2019 NBA Finals after winning Game 3 on Wednesday against the Golden State Warriors. The Raptors now have a 2-1 advantage in the series, heading into Game 4 in Oakland this Saturday, the 8th of June!
We take a look at the crucial Game 4 and give our betting tips below!
The main question heading into Game 4 for the Warriors will be the health of stars Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson. Both missed Game 3 and Golden State’s offence looked horrendous without them. Steph Curry carried the bulk of the load with 47 points but the Warriors just couldn’t get it going as they shot just 39% from the field.
Thompson is expected to return for Game 4, which will be massive for both the Warriors shooting and their defence. Opposing guards Kyle Lowry and Danny Green had 41 points between them in Game 3, and Thompson will provide another able defender to throw at the duo.
Durant’s status is less encouraging. As of Friday, the all-star forward is expected to be out until at least Game 5 and potentially more. Without Durant, so much relies on the Steph Curry – Draymond Green pick and roll, which the Raptors have defended extremely well so far this series through a mixture of Marc Gasol, Kyle Lowry, Fred Van Fleet and Kawhi Leonard.
One thing that is certain is that Curry will be throwing up the bulk of the shots for the Warriors. The two-time MVP has averaged a monster 22 field goal attempts throughout the first three games and had 31 in Game 3 with Thompson and Durant on the sidelines. He should get his again on Saturday and the points line at Neds looks a little low.
The Raptors will be putting it all on the line on Saturday. A 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals generally marks the end of the series and if they can get another road win on Saturday they’ll have three chances (two at home) to close out the series and win their first ever NBA Championship.
Kawhi Leonard was dominant once again in Game 3, scoring 30 points on 17 shots but it was the supporting cast that really stepped up for Toronto. Kyle Lowry dropped 23 points and went 5/9 from three while Danny Green, Pascal Siakam and Marc Gasol all had 17+ points.
Leonard has been ridiculous throughout the playoffs this season and particularly in the biggest games. He scored 41 points including a buzzer beater to win Game 7 against the 76ers before dropping 35 points in the crucial Game 4 against the Bucks which put his team up 3-1 and iced the series. This is the same type of game for the Raptors. A win here would almost ensure a finals win barring a miraculous comeback, and with his primary defenders in Klay Thompson and Andre Igoudala still under injury clouds, Kawhi should go over.
There’s no doubt that the addition of Thompson will be massive for Golden State, but how healthy will he really be? With the amount of running he is forced to do on both offence and defence, we could end up seeing Klay have a limited impact on this game.
The Warriors had to get an all time performance from Curry on Wednesday just to muster up 109 points and still fell 14 points short of the Raptors. Toronto will have had another three days to work out defensive schemes to stop Curry’s influence. We think the Raps are great value here with the 4.5 point head start.
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