Moore: What Potential Warriors, Raptors Adjustments Mean For Game 3’s Over/Under

Moore: What Potential Warriors, Raptors Adjustments Mean For Game 3’s Over/Under article feature image
Credit:

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30), Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard (2) during 2019 NBA Finals.

  • Game 2 of the NBA Finals was a tight one, and there will most certainly be counter moves from both the Raptors and Warriors in Game 3.
  • Matt Moore details how this will affect the low Game 3 total (213.5).

The over in Game 1 of the NBA Finals hit comfortably, the under hit in Game 2 (or pushed at 213 depending on the book). However, it took a lot for the Game 2 total to get there.

The Raptors went scoreless for the first 5:30 of the third quarter, including four uncontested misses, three misses from Kawhi Leonard on shots he routinely hits, and a few unforgivably bad turnovers from Lowry. The Warriors scored just 10 points over an eight-minute stretch of the fourth quarter, with Stephen Curry on the floor for most of it.

With a number that low, you have to believe that neither team has figured each other out. Except in Game 2, we saw the Warriors consistently using screens to get bigger wings on smaller guards on backside rotations.

Danny Green said Tuesday that he expected there to be some changes on those rotations. But he also said part of the issue was miscommunication on some switches and where rotations needed to be coming from.

Those problems will be exaggerated in Oracle Arena, which means the Warriors will likely either find those back cuts, or open 3’s.

That’s where Klay Thompson comes in.

A less-than-100% Thompson could go off for 30. He could be frozen and find it harder to move. But if he’s injured, the problems would likely replicate on the defensive end, meaning one of the few Warriors who can keep his man in front of him will have an even harder time, leading to more penetration and more Raptors cuts.

Nick Nurse said that DeMarcus Cousins’ physicality caught both he and Marc Gasol off-guard. The Raptors should be better positioned to a) counter that physicality and b) respond to his presence with counters on both ends.

The caveat being that Nurse is reluctant to change how the Raptors play to target weak points. Still.

“We’re trying to play as normally as we can.” Nurse said. “It’s always a game of rhythm a little bit and you have to watch what’s happening. As you know, we talk a lot about our shot spectrum, the shots we’re trying to get. We have to get a certain amount of paint touches. We have to get the ball side to side. Those are things you just have to keep an eye on. I think we just had some lulls in those three areas in Game 2.”

We’re likely to get better shooting performances from Curry at home, along with Kyle Lowry by sheer “eventually he’s got to have a good shooting game” force. Pascal Siakam likely makes a few more of the uncontested looks or finishing around the rim better. More minutes for Andre Iguodala with Thompson limited means more difficult interior plays.

More of the money is on the under than tickets at the moment, suggesting sharp bettors like the under.

But if we look at how this series has gone and where the counters are likely to come from, the over carried more value at a low number for teams with this much firepower.

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