Toronto Raptors: 3 takeaways from Game 1 of 2019 NBA Finals

Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images
Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images /
2 of 4
Photo by Kyle Terada – Pool/Getty Images
Photo by Kyle Terada – Pool/Getty Images /

3. Defense, not offense, wins championships

The Toronto Raptors went into the Finals with the second best defensive rating and were facing off against the league’s best offensive team in the Warriors. One of the major headlines was whether the Raptors’ defense would be too much for the Kevin Durant-less Warriors’ fast-paced offense.

If Game 1 was any indication, the Raptors’ defense is poised to be problematic for the Dubs’ original Big 3. Their collective defense held Draymond, Thompson and Curry to a combined 18-for-42 shooting (42.9 percent). The team kept their offense afloat with a near perfect 29-for-31 mark from the charity stripe, led by Curry’s game-high 14-of-14 shooting.

The Raptors were slightly out-rebounded, 38-36, but it was the team’s aggressiveness and intensity on the defensive end that fueled a lot of the offense. Toronto created 16 turnovers leading to 17 points. Additionally, Siakam had two of the team’s six blocks and the Raptors did what they do best in transition off loose balls, scoring 24 points on the break.

On both ends of the floor, the Raptors were great throughout the game. They locked in defensively, making it difficult for the Warriors’ shooters to get going and holding them to 43.6 percent. The Raptors were at 50.6 percent in one of their most efficient nights of the postseason.

Toronto held the Warriors under 110 points, the team’s fourth time this season. It’s something the Raptors have pride themselves in this postseason. They will look to continue their success on that end of the floor.