The Golden State Warriors and the Toronto Raptors rekindle a finals matchup tomorrow at 11:00 AM on NBA League Pass.
What’s up with the Toronto Raptors?
The Toronto Raptors as Eastern Conference champs feels like decades ago. That asterisk of a season where they had Kawhi Leonard has long been turned into ashes. What came out of that, a couple of years (not decades) later is a rookie sensation in Scottie Barnes. Then, the Raptors hit a wall.
This season hasn’t been good to the Raptors. The injuries and the inconsistencies have thrown them into a Canadian Twilight Zone–one where winning streaks of more than three games do not exist. The team can’t seem to get any type of momentum. Currently, they sit in 12th place in the East, battling for that last play-in slot with the Chicago Bulls (a team also struggling with injuries) and the Washington Wizards (a team also struggling with injuries).
The Raptors have won two straight games, beating the unpredictable New York Knicks and the surging Sacramento Kings.
What’s up with the Golden State Warriors?
Just like the Raptors, the 2022-2023 season hasn’t been good to the Warriors. They’ve also been hit by injuries since October and can’t get into the groove of things the way Dub Nation has been accustomed to. For the past three weeks, the Warriors have been playing a dangerous game of lose one, win the next, then lose again. In that eight-game span, they went 4-4.
There’s always a reason to celebrate in Golden State though. They’re coming off a thrilling one-point win against rivals Memphis Grizzlies in a game that was as entertaining as they come. With the game tied at 120, Jordan Poole snuck in for a game-winning layup off an inbounds pass with a second left in the game. Good for him because the Warriors’ go-to game-winner taker, Steph Curry, was ejected moments prior. Curry threw his mouthpiece in what appeared to be frustration mounting from a bad shot from Poole in the closing minutes.
With a win-loss record of 24-24, this Warriors’ season is looking like a docu-series just dying to be made. Coming off that dramatic championship run last season, we should expect nothing less.
Storyline to watch out for
The last time the Warriors and the Raptors met this season, Poole erupted for a career-high 43 points. It was the Warriors’ first win without the then-injured Curry. The Raptors were in a terrible place at that time, having to lose their fifth straight game.
This time around, both teams are coming off wins and would like to build some kind of momentum heading into the All-Star break. The Raptors desperately need it; the Warriors are sniffing it.
Poole is coming off a game-winner and still has that career game memory fresh in his mind. If the Raptors still can’t figure him out, they’re in trouble immediately. Plus, the Warriors have Curry suiting up this time around.
This is all bad news for Toronto. It’s looking like another Raptors’ winning streak will die a quick death.