1. Warriors health issues derailed hopes of a 3-peat
The Warriors were already shorthanded and had been that way for some time. Kevin Durant, who sustained a calf injury in the conference semifinals against the Houston Rockets, sat out the first four games of the Finals before making a brief return in Game 5.
In that contest, KD provided the defending champs with an early boost, scoring 11 points, including three 3-pointers in just 12 minutes of action. Unfortunately, he would leave the game for good in the second quarter with an Achilles injury.
Thompson had also been playing through a hamstring injury that kept him out of Game 3. Then, he left Game 6 for good in the third quarter with what turned out to be a torn ACL.
On top of that, DeMarcus Cousins was out 45 days with a torn quad injury before making his return to the lineup at the start of this series. Andre Iguodala suffered a leg injury early in the series. Kevon Looney was nursing a chest injury he sustained in Game 2. In other words, the Warriors looked more like a mash unit than a basketball team.
To be fair, let’s not take anything away from the Raptors. They played with energy and effort every game of this entertaining series. At the same time, though, if Warriors were at full strength, this matchup probably would have played out differently.