"Without Durant, Everything Tilts Toward Toronto"

The Raptors took Game 1 of the NBA Finals, but Warriors analyst Bob Fitzgerald believes Golden State will still win the series

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
May 31, 2019 - 9:02 am
Pascal Siakam Danny Green Raptors NBA Finals

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Well, we’ve got a series.

The Toronto Raptors beat the Golden State Warriors, 118-109, in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday. Five Raptors finished in double figures, including Pascal Siakam, who shot 14-of-17 from the floor and scored a team-high 32 points.

The Raptors shot 50.6 percent from the floor, while the Warriors shot just 43.6 percent.

“They didn’t play well enough to beat the Raptors,” NBC Sports Bay Area’s Bob Fitzgerald said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “Without Kevin Durant, they need to absolute fire in terms of shooting the ball, and they just didn’t do that.”

Golden State shot 12-of-31 (38.7 percent) from three. Toronto shot 13-of-33 (39.4 percent).

“You credit Toronto with just an incredible effort,” Fitzgerald said. “They were the better team, and they deserved to win. Now the series is on. Those of us that watched the Warriors and saw them play without Durant knew this would be real difficult without Kevin. Trying to win a game in Toronto is going to be hard, but I think this is going to be a fairly lengthy series.”

Well, yes and no. Fitzgerald has Golden State winning four of the next five.

“I think this series is going to go six games, and I think the Warriors are going to win it,” Fitzgerald said. “But I think they could lose the first two games in Toronto, win the next two at Oracle and Game 5 will tell the tale. That will be the road game that the Warriors grab. I thought the Warriors would actually not win (Game 1). I would have liked to have seen them win, but they didn’t. I just think without Durant, everything tilts toward Toronto until Kevin comes back.”

When – or if – Durant returns remains to be seen.

“I think it’s likely that if he makes an appearance in the series, it will be when it shifts back to Oakland – and they’ll need that,” Fitzgerald said. “I think in Game 2 the Warriors will play better, I don’t think Siakam will shoot 14-of-17 from the field again, the Warriors will clean up their turnovers, and you’ll see more from DeMarcus Cousins. The Warriors will play better.”

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