Raptors talk up game six chances
After the disappointment of losing by a solitary point in game five, the Toronto Raptors would be forgiven for being somewhat downhearted over the result that would have seen them win the NBA Championship for the first time in their history. However, with two potential games left, all the focus is now on what lies ahead.
In reality, they could have not come much closer on Monday, but Thursday night’s match-up at the Oracle Arena in Oakland gives them a chance to right some wrongs and make history once again. Beating the Golden State Warriors on their own turf is no easy feat, but they have done it already this series, and have overcome every hurdle on their path so far this postseason.
It took a sensational buzzer beater from Kawhi Leonard in game seven of their tie against the Philadelphia 76ers to book a place in the Eastern Conference final, and then they came back from two games down to win against the Milwaukee Bucks against all odds.
Everybody had written them off time and again, but their destiny is in their own hands if they can win tonight. The Warriors will be without superstar talent Kevin Durant, who has now undergone surgery to fix the injury that he sustained last time out, so he will not be returning.
His return in game five gave Golden State some impetus at the start, and the Raptors will know that they have a golden opportunity across 48 minutes tonight to do what no other side in their franchise has ever managed to do.
They seem as confident as they can be going into a game where they know that a loss will embolden their opponents, even though game seven would take place back in Toronto. The experience of the Warriors in this position cannot be overlooked, and they have won three out of the last four titles, so it would be hard to bet beyond them to win the Championship if they get a result tonight.
Raptors coach Nick Nurse admitted that there was some disappointment after missing out on the chance to seal the series by a single point, but all of his players are delighted to another chance to try to secure overall victory.
Toronto are boosted by more injury woes for their opponents, with Kevon Looney suffering after rushing back from his past conditioning issues, while Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala have been playing through the pain barrier with leg problems of their own.
Words: Noah Hart