Saturday, June 15, 2019

The Toronto Raptors Surprise the World and Become Champions

Fred VanVleet and Kyle Lowry stepped up Big Time in Raptors Victory over the Warriors

As we all know by now, the Golden State Warriors lost to the Toronto Raptors in the NBA Finals by a series score of 4-2. Kawhi Leonard won Finals MVP receiving 10 of the 11 votes (1 to VanVleet) Game 6 was played in Oakland at Oracle Arena, where it would be the Warriors last game at Oracle before moving to the Chase Center in San Francisco. Kyle Lowry was key as him and Pascal Siakam both dropped 26 and Kawhi and VanVleet each had 22 as VanVleet stepped up late in the game. With this series loss, the Warriors also lost star players Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson. Durant came back mid series from an injury but re-injured himself in Game 5 in Toronto with a ruptured achilles, an estimated 10-14 month recovery process and Thompson tore his ACL in last night's final game and is expected to be out until at least late February of 2020. With both of them becoming free agents, the Warriors are expected to offer max 5 year contracts for each player.

History was made as many crazy stats have been noted. The Raptors won without having a lottery pick drafted player and Nick Nurse became the first coach to win a G-League and NBA championship. Kawhi Leonard scored 732 points this postseason (third most all time) and Kawhi and Pascal Siakam tied Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen for second most points for a duo at 1,187 points. Jeremy Lin has won a ring and Patrick McCaw has three-peated! Drake dropped new music after the win! Also, Fred VanVleet played 24 total games in the playoffs. The first 15 he averaged 4 PPG, 26% from the field, and 20%. Then, his son was born on May 20th and he came alive average 14.7 PPG, 51% from the field, and 53% from 3 in 9 games. Finally, Curry has struggled in the postseason in clutch time going 0-8 in his career with under 20 seconds left. Another crazy event that occurred that night is the GM of the Raptors, Masai Ujiri, is under investigation for assault on a police officer. Ujiri, who took a gamble on the Kawhi trade, is also reportedly being recruited by Washington for a deal that would pay him $10 million a year.

With all this championship celebration, the new focus is free agency. Where will Kawhi go? Where will Durant go? Where will Klay and the other stars go? Well, Mychal Thompson said that Klay talked with Durant after Game 5 and said that they concluded that they have unfinished business. So, it's likely they return to the Warriors even though they'd miss significant time due to their injuries. Cousins wants to as well. As for Kawhi, rumors keep swirling around. Is his job done in Toronto as he brought them their ring? Will he stay and build off this run? These questions remain unknown but what we do know is that board man gets paid and Kawhi Leonard is definitely board man.