Kevin Durant shot a beautiful jumper during the 2019 NBA Finals in Toronto, Canada on June 10, 2019. Photo by: Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images.
June 11, 2019 — Warriors have been beat by some of the best offensive shooting they’ve seen in the post season from the Raptors. Down 3-1 in the series, the Warriors led majority of the game by at least three points and barely pulled through a win with a score 106-105.
On top of the win, Durant felt a pull in his lower ankle (now believed Achilles,) and left the game early in the second quarter. It was hard to watch KD endure that injury.
When Durant came to the Dubs Warrior fans were happy because they knew how lethal he was on offense; the way he protects the ball, creates plays on the court, and pulls the defense towards him only to juke them and land a fade-away shot. His swag was just what the Warriors needed for their offense. Not to mention his aggressive attitude on defense, sheesh, the guy is a Super Star.
The basketball fanbase went rabid. Snake emojis covered the internet and hate commentary has been spit at KD since day one. Last night he proved his heart is with his team and winning, regardless where he’s at.
We’re grateful he sacrificed his body for the team like that…I feel so bad for him to be honest, no one should have to go do something like that.Steph Curry, post-game interview Monday June 10, 2019 in Toronto.
The Warriors need to make a lot of adjustments in order to force this series to a Game 7. KD was in for 12 minutes and had 11 points, so the Warriors need to figure out a way to handle his position in the offensive lineup.
A difficulty for the Warriors is the uncertainty from the bench. There are some instances where Quinn Cook has a couple good looks and gets the momentum going, or Andrew Bogut is open under the basket for a dunk. But, there are other nights where Cook only has three points, such as last night, or Shaun Livingston hits a few good fade aways, or hits zero, such as last night.
Warriors were far too careless with the ball and the turnovers get the Raptors in a rhythm that is hard to keep up with. The injury from KD pushed the Warriors to ensure they would fight until the end.
Kawahi Leonard (26 points, 12 rebounds, six assists) was silent throughout the game, only hitting shots within the perimeter. But once they needed to win, he felt it. He went on 10-0 spree by himself, and the fans roared. For some reason, Nick Nurse called a time out which allowed the Warriors to recover, Green confirmed in his post-game interview. Kyle Lowry (18 points, four rebounds, six assists) took the final shot and as the buzzer sounded off, fans were in awe.
The Raptors are playing the Warriors game against them, unfortunately the Warriors are pretty banged up now and it’s tough for them to keep up with the race. Game 6 is going to take a lot of movement from the Warriors, on and off the ball. They can safely bet that Thompson and Curry will be double-teamed, so the additional points need to come from somewhere and someone else on the court. Cousins can’t be so careless with the ball and on defense. He also should not guard Leonard at the top of the perimeter, because he’s not 100%, he will be beat every time.
Win or lose I don’t think we have anything to prove anymore. There’s no need to prove what we have in our heart — people know who we are.Stephen Curry, Monday night in Toronto during his post-game interview
It’s been an emotional rollercoaster for the Warrior fanbase, as the Dubs take the series to their final home game at Oracle Arena we can only hope the fans cheer until they can’t anymore. Great playmaking and ball control can take this to a Game 7, lazy shots and turnovers will not.
Let’s not forget KD’s kind words after his first Finals Championship with the Warriors:
“I heard about how I was hopping on bandwagons, I was letting everybody else do the work, but that was far from the truth,” Durant said after the Finals. “I came in and tried to help my team. I found the camaraderie, the togetherness of the whole organization. I definitely appreciate the people we have here from top to bottom. It feels amazing to win a championship with these guys.”Kevin Durant in a post-game interview. (Kyle Ratke, Digital Content Manager. nba.com, June 13, 2017.)