2019 NBA Finals - Kevin Durant poised to return in Game 5 as Raptors go for the title
By Ponciano Melo Jr. PhilBoxing.com Tue, 11 Jun 2019
TORONTO -- With the blessings of the Golden State Warriors' medical staff, Kevin Durant has been allowed to practice with the team and upgraded to a game time decision for today's Game 5, which means he is highly likely to suit up and help the two-time defending champions stave off elimination.
It's obviously anybody's guess how effective KD will be when he returns from a long layoff due to a calf strain. But given that the Warriors are being outscored 112.8 to 104.4 points per game thus far, any infusion on the offense will be a breath of new life for Golden State.
With or without Kevin Durant, however, the Warriors still face a steep mountain to climb, and the obstacles are difficult to hurdle.
First and foremost is Kawhi Leonard, who is averaging a workmanlike 30.8 points, 10.3 rebounds and four assists in four games while carrying a true shooting percentage of 65.3 percent.
Secondly, Pascal Siakam, a former G-Leaguer is playing like an All-Star, averaging 20.3 points, 7.5 boards and 4.3 dimes an outing.
And then there's the Raptor guards -- Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet. They have combined to average 25.9 points per in four games while their physical defense is making the most impact against the Warriors, especially on Steph Curry who is averaging 32.8 points but shooting just 42.percent from the field and 35.7 percent from 3-point distance.
Seeking their third straight title and the fourth in the last five years, the Warriors are a mere 48 minutes away from being dethroned.
For the Raptors, that's how close they are to the ultimate prize. Four quarter. One game. One shining moment.
Photos: Although known for its hockey, Canada has embraced the Toronto Raptors who are gunning for their first-ever NBA title since joining the league in 1995. TV ratings are through the roof, breaking all sorts of records. The Raptors guards -- Kyle Lowry (No,7) and the fearless Fred VanVleet -- are smothering Steph Curry with their defense.