The Toronto Raptors will never get a better chance.
The Raptors, attempting to close out their NBA Finals series with two-time defending champion Golden State in five games on Monday, led by 6 points with 2 minutes remaining before a championship-starved home crowd begging to rush the court in 120 seconds.
But Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green — who have been there from the start during the Warriors’ amazing run — simply would not let them lose.
The Warriors went on a 9-0 blitz to deliver a silencer to the raucous crowd and Green came up with an end-of-the-game block on Kyle Lowry as the champs are still the champs until somebody takes their title away from them.
The teams now head back to Oakland for Game 6 and do you really think the Warriors are going to lose that game and wind up 0-3 at home for the series?
Not a chance.
This series, which I thought would be a mere formality at the start as the Warriors were expected to make it four titles in five years, has turned into one of the most exciting Finals in recent memory.
Golden State is running on fumes and heart, keyed by the Big 3. And there’s basically been no Kevin Durant.
After sitting out the first four games due to a calf injury and having not played for 32 days, Durant returned on Monday and was sensational at the start.
But in the first half, he made a move and from all reports he injured his Achilles. The final word will be announced later, but all indications are it was serious.
The Warriors won a championship without Durant and then the following season won 73 games, only to lose in the Finals. That’s went Durant was added and the Warriors have won back-to-back titles. Forget what people say, they're a better team with him.
They seemed like a different team with him on the court Monday and the Warriors were energized by his return. He was on fire early and the Warriors were off and running.
They did manufacture a double-digit lead, only to see Toronto roar back behind Kawhi Leonard, who was simply brilliant. But the Raptors couldn’t seal the deal and you could just see the shattered faces when they left the court. You just have to wonder if they can recover mentally, while the Warriors are going to be sky-high.
They’ll also be motivated to play for Durant, who risked injury and perhaps his career in Game 5 to try and put his team over the top. For all the talk of him being an outsider, they know what it meant for him to play.
I have held steadfast in my belief of the Warriors. I don’t know if they have two more games in them, but Curry, Thompson and Green will certainly will this team to the best of their ability.
I still like the Warriors in 7.