Kent Tukeli |  Mon 03/06/2019 - 12:13 EDT

NBA Finals 2019 Game 3 Update – Warriors Strike Back

NBA Finals 2019 Game 3 Update – Warriors Strike Back
After an amazing performance in game one, the Toronto Raptors dropped an outstanding opportunity for a 2-0 lead over the Golden State Warriors. Instead, the Raptors must steal a win in California to stay in the series. With the impending return of Kevin Durant, the Raptors NBA Finals odds trend towards the underdog. Will Kawhi Leonard lead the Raptors to another incredible upset?

NBA Finals Game Three Odds 

  • Moneyline – Warriors -233 :: Raptors +193
  • Spread – Warriors -5.5
  • Over/Under – +/- 213.0

2019 NBA Finals Winner

  • Toronto Raptors – +225
  • Golden State Warriors – -286

Vegas Odds NBA Finals 

NBA Finals odds shifted drastically when the Toronto Raptors took care of home court in game one. The Raptors shocked experts and pundits alike with a 118-109 victory, carried by an historic performance from Pascal Siakam. 

Unfamiliar to most outside the North, Spicy P shaked and baked all season, becoming a shoe-in for most improved player – but no one expected all-time greatness. In his first-ever NBA Finals appearance, Siakam was 14-17 from the field, amassing 32 points, 8 boards, 5 dimes, 2 blocks and a steal. Only Jordan, Duncan, Iverson and Durant scored more in their championship debut.  

Kevin Durant’s absence stung the Warriors to begin the series, allowing Toronto to simplify their defensive planning. Instead of leveraging Durant isos for easy buckets, Golden State fought to establish pick and roll alternatives against the Raptors swarm. Curry still got his, dropping 34 points, but the rest of the lineup couldn’t establish a consistent rhythm similar to the Blazers sweep.

Golden State’s biggest issue in game one was lazy transition defense, enabling quick strikes from running Raptors. The Warriors tend to create their patented runs through transition excellence, demoralizing opponents with double-digit runs in less than two minutes. Toronto turned the tables, staying focused on transition defense while sprinting past lethargic Warriors.

The Raptors unsustainable shooting percentage returned to earth in game two. Siakam, Gasol and VanVleet weren’t going to combine to shoot 25-35 from the field again. This required addition scoring from Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry, typically the first two options for Toronto’s attack. 

Leonard managed a game-high 34 points, and proud papa Fred VanVleet netted 17, but the rest of the club couldn’t hit shots over the Warriors improved defending. Andre Iguodala was called upon to mark Siakam, preventing the Cameroonian from another productive match. Andre was asked to mark LeBron James in previous finals, a compliment for Pascal.

Golden State stuck to solid fundamentals to win game two 109-104, implementing strong defense and ball movement to dominate the second half of the contest. Green was an assist away from another triple double, Cousins and Iguodala notched six assists apiece, and Curry and Thompson combined for nine.

The Warriors dialed up action for seldom-used Andrew Bogut, repeating set plays from their first championship run to get easy buckets for the big Aussie. Golden State’s bench added just enough scoring to even the series at one game apiece, despite Thompson leaving due to a hamstring issue.

NBA Finals Odds – Game Three Preview

NBA Finals game 3 odds reflect a blown opportunity for the Raptors. Golden State were without Durant, Thompson and Looney were injured, but Toronto simply couldn’t sink enough buckets to finish a fourth quarter comeback. Now, the Raptors must find a way to steal a game in California, or face a 3-1 scenario back in the North.

Injuries could play a greater role than expected. Klay Thompson limped off the court with a hamstring issue during a vital stretch. He’s already vowed to start in game three, which should comfort the Dubs. Golden State need his defense and lights-out shooting to maintain an edge on the Raps.

Kevin Durant could make a return to the court in game three, which would create a massive matchup problem for Toronto’s defensive scheme. Durant can create his own shot at any time, capable of shooting over anyone. If the Raptors play him too close during isolations, Kevin will draw fouls and blow by defenders on the dribble.

Kawhi will be forced to guard Durant, which could tire Leonard out on the offensive end. Since showing signs of a limp during the Milwaukee series, Leonard hasn’t had the same pace and explosive movement on both ends of the court. Somehow, coach Nurse needs to find a way to throw double teams at Durant without leaving shooters open – a near impossible task at times.

Toronto needs to remain consistent on the defensive end for 48 minutes to have a chance at winning in Oakland. The Warriors punish ineffective coverage, turning easy baskets and open looks into overwhelming runs. Golden State ripped a 18-0 run in the third quarter, and Toronto couldn’t climb back into contention.

The Raptors also need a big game from Kyle Lowry, who fouled out for the second time in the playoffs. When Lowry succeeds as a second scoring option, Toronto’s offense opens up, making it easier to create solid looks for Siakam, Gasol and Ibaka. Kyle must stay on court long enough to have an impact, or else the Raptors will struggle.

NBA Finals Betting Odds

Current NBA finals odds don’t look kindly upon Toronto. After the game two loss, the Warriors odds to win the NBA finals lifted up to -286, denoting them as strong favorites. Toronto dropped to +225, slightly better than the Cavaliers last season.

If the Warriors take care of home court, the odds become miniscule for Toronto. Cleveland pulled off a miraculous comeback down 3-1 in 2016, but the Cavaliers were lead by LeBron James and an all-star supporting cast. Golden State acquired Durant to prevent this from ever happening again, and he’ll return latest game four.

NBA Finals Prediction

Steph Curry catches fire in game three, overwhelming Toronto with great shooting. Kevin Durant returns, ensuring that Golden State takes both games in California. The Raptors put up a fight, but one of the best teams in NBA history prove too strong to conquer.

See below the top sportsbooks where you can wager online and choose the best one for you:

Category : Sports News

Tag : basketball odds , Golden State Warriors , nba , NBA Finals , nba odds , nba picks , nba playoffs , toronto raptors

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