Game 4 Raptors Starting Lineup Breakdown – Go Here
Note: This is the Game 3 Breakdown
The series is now level heading back to Golden State, although it may have came at a cost. Klay Thompson is questionable for Game 3, and Kevin Durant is already ruled out. Game 3 is another pivotal game, where Golden State could take the lead for the first time in the series. There is no surprise as both Kawhi Leonard and Stephen Curry have been doing their thing in the finals. Both are averaging over 25 points per game in the postseason in general. Game 3 is on at 9 ET on ABC/ESPN.
Game 2 Raptors Recap
After weathering the third quarter run from the Warriors in Game 1, the Raptors struggled in the third quarter for Game 2. They were outscored 34-21, after a close first half. The fourth quarter was a struggle on both sides for offense, as both teams scored less than 25 points. But, the 18-0 third quarter run to start was a brutal blow for the Raptors, and we have seen Golden State go through this often. The second half adjustment to make others not named Kawhi Leonard beat them worked, as Steve Kerr adjusted some matchups.
It was only a five point game, and Toronto had their chances to get even or pull ahead. They took 12 more shots than Golden State, but made three less. Their FG% was at 37% as a team, and they struggled from deep, shooting 28.9%. Free throws were about even, as they went 23-26 from the line. Toronto also out-rebounded Golden State 58-51. Turnovers and points off turnovers were even, and Toronto led in fast break points. Ultimately things came down to shooting, and Toronto’s shot was just off.
Toronto struggled to defend DeMarcus Cousins, and we finally saw Klay Thompson get going. After a peak Pascal Siakam game, he went just 5-18 from the field, scoring 12 points. Marc Gasol struggled with six points, and both Danny Green and Kyle Lowry combined for 21 points. Fred VanVleet was still a positive off the bench, scoring 17 with three steals.
Raptors Starting Lineup
Kyle Lowry, PG – Kyle Lowry struggled in Game 2, and we are often quick to bash his playoff performances. Lowry was -17 on the court, and defended most possessions against Andre Iguodala. He ended up fouling out in 28 minutes. This was part of the reason for VanVleet’s 38 minutes. We have seen the highs and lows of the secondary players for Toronto already in the finals. Thompson was the main defender on Lowry at times, guarding him the most. Second was Stephen Curry. If Thompson is out for Game 3, Lowry and the backcourt will have an offensive advantage. Thompson is an above average defender, and it would be a big loss.
Danny Green, SG – Game 2 wasn’t a strong point for Danny Green in the series, and he struggled to get involved, scoring just eight points on seven shots. He was -3 in 26 minutes, leading to Norman Powell getting some run. Green was defending Stephen Curry on most of his possessions, and he actually held Curry scoreless. Green had most of his possessions against Curry on defense. He still sits with the lowest usage rate among Toronto’s starters so far in the series. That won’t likely change given his play style.
Kawhi Leonard, SF – As mentioned above, Steve Kerr adjusted to Toronto, allowing Kawhi Leonard do carry the workload, and make others beat them. They could not hit their shots, and in Game 2 it worked. However, allowing them to do the same might not in the future. Leonard leads all players on both sides in usage this series. He played a lot of defense on Draymond Green, which didn’t translate well. Leonard found most success against Iguodala and Alfonzo McKinnie. Not really a surprise given Iggy is banged up and McKinnie isn’t a fair matchup.
Pascal Siakam, PF – Draymond Green smothered Pascal Siakam in Game 2. He shot 1-of-8 against Green, and also struggled against Iguodala. Golden State also switched Klay Thompson onto Siakam at times for offense, and he hit 3-of-4 from three. It was an overall rough game for Siakam. Toronto will need him somewhere in the middle of Game 1 and Game 2 the rest of the series. Hard to ask him for Game 1 performances every night, but both sides of the ball need work from the prior game.
Marc Gasol, C – Marc Gasol was another Game 1 hero who struggled in Game 2. He saw a lot more of DeMarcus Cousins in Game 2, and struggled against him. He scored just four points when defended by Cousins. Kevon Looney also held him in check, but Looney is now out for the series. The matchup of centers is going to be an interesting one to watch for the rest of the series. We have seen both names be x-factors in each game. If Cousins can give this energy over the next few games, Toronto might be in trouble.
We have seen the same three bench players in each game so far, as OG Anunoby was cleared to play, but didn’t see any minutes. Norman Powell got some run with Kyle Lowry and Danny Green struggling. He played 21 minutes, and was +17. Fred VanVleet got plenty of run with Lowry fouling out early. He played a playoff high 38 minutes, and posted a 17-4-2 line with three steals. He was also one of three names in the positive. Serge Ibaka continues to be a quick minutes guy to give the bigs of rest, although he was rather productive. He brought down ten boards and scored seven points.