Bob Ryan: "Kawhi Will Find A Way"

The Raptors couldn't close in Game 5, but Ryan believes they'll still win the NBA Finals

June 12, 2019 - 8:46 am
Kawhi Leonard NBA Finals Game 5

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Legendary Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan dropped by CBS Sports Radio to discuss numerous topics, including David Ortiz’s recovery, Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, Kyrie Irving’s impending free agency, and, yes, Game 6 of the NBA Finals.

The Raptors, who came within one shot of winning their first title in franchise history Monday, can close out the Warriors at Oracle Arena on Thursday. 

“The Raptors had a chance,” Ryan said on Ferrall on the Bench, referring to Game 5. “They had (the Warriors) almost beaten but couldn’t get the job done. They’ve given life now to the Warriors.”

The Warriors erupted for 20 three-pointers in Game 5, winning without Kevin Durant, who exited in the second quarter with an apparent Achilles injury. Kawhi Leonard was sensational in the fourth quarter but couldn’t get the Raptors over the hump.

Ryan thinks that will change in Game 6.

“I think Kawhi Leonard, who had that great 10-point run that should’ve won it for them, will find a way,” Ryan said. “I still think they’re going to win.”

If the Raptors lost Game 6, they will host Game 7 in Toronto on Sunday at 8 p.m. ET.

The Celtics, meanwhile, already have an eye toward free agency. The Kyrie Irving experiment didn’t work this year, and Boston could be without him next season.

“It didn’t work in terms of winning a championship or going deep into the playoffs,” Ryan said. “Kyrie is a very talented person. I don’t want to put all of the blame on him, but it didn’t work. . . . Danny Ainge is the most fearless general manager. They have to wait, though, to see what Irving is going to do. We assume he’s going to go and exercise his free-agent right. Then they have to decide if they want to keep Terry Rozier or not. I would hope they would. He’s a restricted free agent who did not play well last year. He did not react well to having Irving around. But without Irving, he might be able to go back to where he was a year ago today.”

Click below to listen to Ryan’s interview in its entirety.