Intrepid Toronto a dangerous underdog
That was to be expected, majority of fans giving Toronto zero chance of beating Golden State in the best-of-7 NBA Finals.
Toronto did the impossible in shoving out towering Milwaukee, but many observers believe the unsinkable Raptors don’t stand a chance against Golden State.
Why? Toronto could drown. Golden State is too vast an ocean to cross.
“Friday’s Game 1 will be a serious gauge of how well Toronto can cope with the awesome power of Golden State,” said veteran sports columnist Al S. Mendoza.
Pareng Al would be more than pleased to see Toronto put up a strong heroic fight.
For one, Golden State cannot be anything close to poor Milwaukee, pitifully loose and lost when composure mattered most.
“Milwaukee had only one play. Give it to Giannis and get out of the way,” said my fellow deadline beater Percy Della.
Despite the glaring underdog tag, there’s no denying Toronto has made this Friday NBA Finals start a most awaited event.
Toronto dazzled with its never-say-die stand in its last game. The Raptors dumped the Bucks asking for more.
There were those who foresee a mismatch. Out in the city wet market meat section, Golden State is a double-your-money favorite to finish wholly triumphant.
For Golden State, there’s nothing more to tell, the Warriors have completed two epics with their twin triumphs in the last two NBA Finals.
Toronto has just started to do its own narrative.
But there’s no telling how far the tireless Raptors could rampage in the Finals series.
Based on its conquest of Milwaukee, top finisher in the regular season, it’s easy to suspect the Raptors could be enjoying a charmed NBA season.
Wasn’t it close to magical how the Raptors managed to move out of the grave after getting buried twice, by 15 and 14 points respectively, in the first and third quarters against Milwaukee last Sunday?
How did they do it? Kwahi Leonard, lead forward who had 27 points and 17 assists, refused to take credit.
This is not about the best performer, he said, we will go all out to be the best team.
There were sparkling contributions from quiet mysterious performers.
Kyle Lowry did not contribute a single point in Toronto’s blinding 26-3 explosion in the closing minutes, but he was singled out by coach Nick Nurse for untiring hustle and floor leadership which provided the great difference for the Raptors.
What about Marc Gasol who dropped two 3-point bombs from deep corner almost unnoticed when the fight was at its most intense?
Overwhelmed Toronto fans partied out in the rain, with some enjoying the dazzle and delight on top of parked buses.
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