5 reasons the Toronto Raptors won the 2019 NBA Finals

Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images /
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(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /

4. Defense wins championships

The Raptors played good defense for the most part throughout the course of this NBA Finals series. Make no mistake: Klay Thompson was a matchup nightmare for Toronto. He averaged 26 points per contest on 55.2 percent shooting from the field and a ridiculous 59.4 percent from 3-point range.

Sure, Stephen Curry averaged over 30 points per contest. On the other hand, he had just one game in which he shot better than 45 percent from the field. On top of that, the two-time former MVP connected on just 40.8 percent of his attempts from the field and 33.8 percent from downtown. Whether it was trapping him off pick-and-roll sets or playing the box-and-one, the Raptors made sure that Curry worked hard for his points.

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Furthermore, the Raptors didn’t allow Draymond Green to really get going in this series either. Although he did average a double-double (12.5 points and 10.8 rebounds per contest), Green shot just 43.3 percent from the field (his lowest overall shooting percentage of any playoff series) and an abysmal 18.1 percent from 3-point range.

Simply put, while the Raptors’ defense may not have been consistently spectacular, it rose to the occasion when it was needed the most.