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  • Event: (523) Golden State Warriors at (524) Toronto Raptors
    Sport/League: NBA
    Date/Time: June 2, 2019 8PM EDT
    Play: 4% – (523) Golden State Warriors at (524) Toronto Raptors Total Under 215.0 (-110)
    Play Rating: 4%
    Result: Win

    4%  Take Golden State – Toronto UNDER (#523-524)

    Last year in the playoffs, Golden State lost five times.  They went 5-0 to the Under following each one of their losses; stellar defensively every time – they held the Spurs to 91, the Pelicans to 92 and the Rockets to 85, 86 and 98 points following those five defeats. 

    It’s was a similar story during the regular season this year.  After losing to the Lakers on Christmas Day, Golden State has cashed 11 Unders in 14 tries following a loss.  Two of their three Overs in this role came against the same ‘push the pace’ team (Sacramento). 

    That same trend has not been as profitable in the playoffs, but it was on full display following their last defeat; when the Rockets tied the series 2-2.  The Warriors defense in Game 5 was truly stellar – Houston’s worst offensive output of the series – and the game stayed Under by 18 points.

    Game 1 was not played at a torrid pace, by any stretch of the imagination.  But Toronto hit 59% of their two point shots, the two teams combined to hit 25 three pointers and 56-63 free throw attempts – hence the Over cashing with room to spare.  Every key Warrior quote during and after the game was about defense:

    Steve Kerr’s quote from a fourth quarter timeout: "For the past five days, the one message we had was, 'Get back on defense ... This is the f---ing Finals. Get back on defense.'"

    Draymond Green: "Our transition D was horrible. You give guys those type of shots, they get comfortable and it's a different beast."

    Steph Curry: “You can't give [Siakam] any dare shots, and you can't give him any straight-line drives to the basket. That's just an effort thing we all can be more mindful of."

    The Raptors length clearly affected Golden State’s offensive gameplan in Game 1, much the way their rangy, versatile defenders disrupted Milwaukee’s offense in the conference finals.  Kyle Lowry: "We've tried to hang our hat on our defense all year. One thing about Golden State is you can't give them space. When we did, Steph and Klay made every shot."

    So, to sum it up: I don’t expect a particularly fast pace or many transition baskets, I’m expecting the Warriors to ‘bring it’ on the defensive end, and I’m not convinced their either side will match their free throw shooting, two point shooting or three point shooting acumen from Game 1.  Put it all together and we can expect a lower scoring affair in Game 2 on Sunday.  Take the UNDER.

    Line Parameter: 4% at 214 or higher, 3% at 213.5 or lower