Dubs Lead

Oracle Arena’s Finale Just Didn’t Go Golden State’s Way

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Last Thursday night, the Toronto Raptors beat the short-handed Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena to close out the 2019 NBA Finals. The end of this series has many people asking “What if…” and as a Warriors fan, this series stung. As a basketball series, this series stung (due to the injuries to Klay and KD). But let me be clear, there are no “What ifs” involved.

The Warriors began this series in big trouble with countless lingering injuries, and an important injury to the calf of Kevin Durant. The former MVP returned for Game 5, but lasted just 12 minutes before rupturing his right achilles tendon. Klay Thompson, who suffered a hamstring injury in Game 2, missed Game 3 and then suffered a torn ACL while the Warriors tried to hold on to a narrow lead in Game 6.

With no Klay or Kevin Durant, the Raptors stuck to their excellent gameplan and double-teamed the Warriors leader, Steph Curry. Their lack of the depth caught up to them and the Raptors would roll. This obviously lead to a lot of discussion around “well what if there were no injuries?” as well as “there’s an asterisk on this one.” But as Warriors fans, we know this is a perfectly legitimate championship that the Raptors deserved to win.

Every year something bad happens to teams one way or another. Yeah, that stuff is unfortunate, but if you’re the Raptors you can only play the team that is in front of you. Let’s not pretend that they only won because of the injuries. Kawhi Leonard was a monster, Fred VanVleet came up clutch, Kyle Lowry hit big shots, and Pascal Siakam played an incredible series on both ends of the floor. The list of their contributors goes on and on. What the series came down to is who hit more shots– and that was the Raptors.

Unexpected Summer Pain

As a Warriors fan, this hurts. I won’t beat around the bush. It hurts a lot. But what hurts more is knowing what KD and Klay are going through. Suffering a career-altering injury when all you want to do is be there fighting with your brothers has to sting. But, we know they’ll be back. They’re hoopers. As a basketball fan and a Warriors fan I hurt for them and want nothing more than to see them on the court right now. We’re going to miss that next year (except maybe a few months of Klay) and that is a bummer.

I’ll miss Klay and KD, I’ll miss the 2018-2019 Warriors, and I’ll miss Oracle Arena. Let’s not take our frustrations on the Raptors, though. They won this fair and square. They played a great series. There shouldn’t be one person saying “what if” after this series ended. I mean, heck, Steph Curry called up their biggest fan right after the game to congratulate him.

https://twitter.com/warriors/status/1139596859926695937

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About Luke Johnson

I'm not the commissioner of the NBA, but I should be. Tweet me @TheRucasJohnson

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