NBA Finals, Game 3: Shooters Shoot

I’m starting to accept the fact that I’m never going to fully comprehend the fact that the Toronto Raptors are in the NBA Finals. It’s like I’ve been sucked into a portal, but instead of being taken to Halloweentown, I’m in this faraway land where the Raptors – my Raptors – are two wins away from winning the championship.

This will never feel real.

Some of you had your eyes widen at the Halloweentown reference, don’t lie.

The Toronto Raptors defeated the Golden State Warriors by a score of 123-109, to take a 2-1 lead in the series. Klay Thompson did not play. Kevin Durant did not play. Kevon Looney did not play.

There, I got the factual component out of the way, so I can go back to sounding like myself rather than just another generic sports article on the internet.

I think the easiest way to do this is if I use a numbered list to arrange my thoughts.

1. I was not a fan of either rendition of the national anthems before the game. Metallica is cool and all, I just don’t enjoy electric guitar versions. Sing the song. (Insert comment here about how Americans like loud noises)

2. Whenever “O Canada” is played in an American city for a sporting event, I’m embarrassed by the performance about 95% of the time. Can we not find someone to sing it properly? It can be Dolores from Section 325 for all I care, just sing it to its proper tune.

3. I’m not here to criticize anthem singers, but a lot of you suck. This isn’t your recording studio; leave your artistic license there. This is the national anthem of a country. IT’S ONLY SUNG ONE WAY. Except when we go half french and half english, but whatever. SING THE SONG.

4. The conspiracy theorist in me says the Warriors were cautious with Klay Thompson and decided not to play him tonight because they know Kevin Durant isn’t coming back, so they couldn’t risk Thompson making his injury worse and being left without either of them.

5. Danny Green, welcome back. Thank you for continuing to shoot because that is what shooters do.

6. Steph Curry scored 47 points in a losing effort. Hopefully, this was him getting his “big game” out of the way and he won’t do this again. Let us pray.

7. I’m always waiting for this Raptors team to look scared and they don’t. If not for the third quarter in Game 2, this is a 3-0 series.

8. I get the sense from the Warriors that they’re treating this series as if it’s an essay in college. Nothing to worry about, no need to panic, it’s not due for another three days, we can pull an all-nighter if we have to, and finish on time. They look like a team that isn’t scared of going down 3-1 and that terrifies me.

9. Can we talk about the giant light bulb that fell from the ceiling and almost killed the Raptors colour commentator, Leo Rautins? What the hell, Oracle Arena?

10. Pascal Siakam has soccer lungs, which means he can run for days and not feel winded.

11. Nick Nurse pulls out the high school-esque box-and-one defence in Game 2, gets laughed at for it, forces the Warriors to prepare for it, and then doesn’t use it at all in Game 3. I love it. Keep ’em guessing, Coach.

12. The Raptors get so many wide open three-pointers. I’m going to start calling them, threebies. They’re freebies, but for three. Threebies. Spread the word.

13. Kawhi Leonard has big games and I don’t even notice them anymore. All of a sudden he has 30 points and I’m like, “Oh, alright.”

14. With the NBA Draft right around the corner, Fred VanVleet is quickly becoming the poster boy for undrafted free agents.

15. I understand that if the Raptors win the series, people will say, “Oh, they did it against a team that had injuries to star players.” You know what, I don’t care. That’s sports. They still give you a trophy if you beat a team that has injured players.

16. I want to be an NBA referee for 20 minutes, just so I can experience how impossible their job is. They’re too close to the action – the TV camera in the last row of the lower level has a better view. They’re staring at a bunch of trees, but don’t recognize it’s a forest.

17. The Warriors have scored 109 points in all three games of the series.

I’ve run out of thoughts at a convenient number – 17. That’s how many three-pointers the Raptors made last night.

Game 4 is Friday night. Grip your pillows tight.

How’s your heart rate, Raptors fans?

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4 Responses to NBA Finals, Game 3: Shooters Shoot

  1. What was weird was a Raptors v. Bucks for the conference title. Really, where did the Bucks come from? Well the same can be said for the Raptors. A lot of people are pining for the good old days when LA, Boston, NY and the like were challenging.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      The Knicks are a disaster, so I think it’ll be a long tie before they ever get close to the finals again. The Bucks surprised me a little bit too, but it’s good to see fresh teams in the spotlight. LeBron made this impossible for the last decade.


  2. Dutch Lion says:

    Excellent comments. I have to reply, comment, retort, etc. on the following:

    #3 I agree 110%! You worded it well, “This isn’t your recording studio….”. I agree buddy! Sing the song the way it’s meant to be sung. No goofy changes, no bragadocious voice….this isn’t “The Voice”, no “look at me” pauses, lyrics, and change in octaves. Just sing the song!

    #7 & #8 The confidence of the Warriors is amazing. They definitely don’t seem too worried. Tonight in Game 4 they are playing with more urgency but it’s only halftime. We’ll see what happens in the 2nd half.

    #9 What! I didn’t see that. Crazy!

    #10 I wish I had “soccer lungs”.

    #14 I love Freddy!

    #15 I agree…..for the most part. You’re right, a rings a ring. However, it does matter in the big scheme of things. For example, think about the Houston Rockets. They can never beat GS but I’m sure they’re thinking, “Dude! Why couldn’t we play them without Durant!?!” The Rockets were close to beating them with Durant scoring about 40 ppg. So yeah, I would say several teams are licking their chops to play GS without all of the injured guys. However, back to the bottom line…..Who cares! A Championship is a Championship and it’s gonna be hard enough to beat them with or without those dudes. “Never underestimate the heart of a Champion” – Coach Rudy T

    #16 A referees job is close to impossible! These dudes are big, fast, incredible athletes, AND they talk to the refs and complain after EVERY foul call. If I’m a ref, I’m like “Dude, get outta here. I’m not talking to you. I’m not listening to you. I don’t care what you think. I called a foul. Live with it and get away from me.”

    Hey Paul, great column. Have fun tonight!!!!!!


    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      On some level, winning a ring when Durant doesn’t win the first four is a bit tainted but then again the Warriors beat the Cavs when they were without Irving and Love. And then the Warriors needed to load up on superstars to win their next two, so if championships are all about fairness…none of their three have been too far.

      Thanks for the comment, hoping the Raps pull it out tonight!

      Liked by 1 person

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