NBA Finals: Warriors vs. Raptors Series by the Numbers

I’ve gotta say, I’m happy for Toronto fans.

All of the years of ridiculous trash talking about how great the Raptors are and how they will blast their way through the playoffs has finally come to fruition.

The Raptors are in the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history! The Raps went all in on Kahwi, and it has paid off. But despite all the Toronto hype, the NBA odds at the top betting sites, just like 5Dimes have the Golden State Warriors -290 favorites to win yet another NBA Title.

The Matchup

Game 1 tips-off on May 30th, and the Raptors are -1 favorites at home in Scotianbank Arena.

In the last 10 times that these two teams have met, the Warriors own an 8-2 victory advantage. That said, where it really counts is recent history. And those two Toronto Raptors victories came consecutively this season. So, the Warriors have fallen twice to the Raptors, once on November 29th, 2018, and again on December 12, 2018.

Does that mean we are going to see a full, seven-game series?

Maybe. With the Raptors holding homecourt advantage, it is quite possible. But they are going to have to figure out their weakside transition defense if they hope to hold off the Warriors who are firing on all cylinders.

If they Raptors trap Curry early, as the Blazers did, they are going to have to be able to transition quickly to pick up Draymond Green. The key to Warriors ball is the fact that there are so much shooting talent and the fact that they have a decision-making, ball-distributing power forward in Draymond Green. If Curry is trapped, he passes to Green. Then Draymond can either drive towards the bucket or dump the ball off to Klay in the wing if he is well-guarded. If not, he can toss a floating pass over the lane for Jordan Bell or Iguodala on the baseline.

The Raps have to stick like white on rice to Green and not play him in a soft zone. They need to force guys like Jordan Bell and Alfonzo McKinnie to make split-second court decisions. Why? Because Green will make the right play choice 99% of the time.

Just look at Golden State’s numbers. They play equally well at home or on the road.

  • Golden State Scores 117.61 ppg on Average.
  • Golden State Scores 117.47 ppg on the Road.
  • Golden State Allows 111.10 ppg on Average.
  • Golden State Allows 110.92 ppg on the Road.
  • Golden State Scores 117.83 ppg at Home.
  • Golden State Allows 111.29 ppg at Home.

The Warriors are machines honed in for consistency, and the catalyst for this is Draymond.

  • The Raptors Score 112.73 ppg on Average.
  • The Raptors Score 113.72 ppg at Home.
  • The Raptors Allow 28 ppg at Home.
  • The Raptors Allow 106.77 ppg on Average.
  • The Raptors Score 111.69 on the Road.
  • The Raptors Allow 108.33 on the Road.

The Warriors are within less than a point of difference on both offense and defense in any situation. The Raptors are not bad when it comes to consistency, but they play more than two points better per game at home on offense than they do on the road and are full three-plus points better on defense at home.

As it stands, the Warriors have roughly a five-point offensive advantage. Meanwhile, the Raps allow roughly five points per game less than the Dubs. So we’re at a wash.

This series has the potential for either team to pick off the other at home, and this series (with the help of some rigged-up reffing) is likely to go all seven games.

Look for heavy swings between games and for the series to play out in its entirety.

Featured Image: SFGate

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