The Raptors made an impressive run to finish the half, erasing a 14-point deficit, and their offense was clicking for good stretches. This game actually had a lot of surges to it, the Warriors' surges just happened to be more vicious.
The field goal percentages in the first quarter were high (69.6% GSW; 58.8% TOR), and with both the Raptors and the Warriors coming into this game with two-day fresh legs, this isn't much of a surprise. Both teams started shooting exceptionally well from outside too (71.4% GSW; 60.0% TOR), but Toronto also looked to exploit a perceived edge in the paint. On the other hand, they also tried to fight fire with fire, bringing out a three guard lineup in the third quarter against our small-ball lineup, but unfortunately for them, the Roaracle happened to be waking up from its halftime slumber.
Maybe it's arguable whether the absence of DeMar DeRozan or Andrew Bogut leaves a bigger hole, but I'm pretty sure where everyone here stands on this one... With Festus Ezeli out as well, Kerr has shown a tendency to double in the post, having an outside guard or wing come in to help. From what I've seen this seems to be working: we've been forcing the ball out of the post, and recovering on switches pretty well.
Don't get it twisted, Marreese Speights had a grown man game tonight. 12 for 19 from the field, 8 rebounds (4 offensive), and at least one drawn charge (did I miss some?), all the while showcasing a very smooth midrange jumpshot. Someone here recently made a comparison to LaMarcus Aldridge, no? While this may be a bit far-fetched, there are certainly some similarities. And drawing charges has to be undervalued - essentially a steal and a foul for the opposing player. Mo' is tied for second behind Kyle Lowry, what a coincidence.
Draymond Green filled the stat sheet, so no news there. He did have a career high 13 assists. A lot of those were split-second passes after catching the ball in the key, in traffic. There's a difference between an assist to a 50% shot, and an assist to a 95% shot - he looks straight Spursian out there. It's time to rethink your priorities and find a way to get his bobblehead on the 7th. Draymond threw an oop to David Lee, and said, "my man", as he was congratulating him on their way back down the court. Made me feel all warm and tingly. He also
fouled denied Terrence Ross on a transition dunk attempt, which leads me to an idea for revamping the dying All-Star Slam Dunk Contest: why not change it to the 'Shut-Down Contest' and have Draymond lying in wait for unsuspecting rookies?
David Lee had a nice jab step followed by a midrange swish, and there was more good chemistry between him and Andre Iguodala. Lee is an impressive leader in general, and he doesn't seem sour coming off the bench. With a full squad, our bench is probably the best in the league. A big part of this is the unselfishness of Lee and Andre, and them embracing their roles.
The Warriors had 9 turnovers in this outing, with Stephen Curry chipping in a big nil. Rejoice!
It's not exactly a new development, but I do enjoy seeing Curry use the rim in transition to prevent hungry blockers. Sure, other more physical guards often find ways of getting and-1s in these situations, but it's a crafty and risk-averse solution on Curry's part. He did decide to forego his usual lay-in on a transition play with Lowry chasing him down, in favor of a big slam, some chest pounding, and Roaracle worthy roars.