I’m with the Raptors and the Blues

Published 11:56 am Friday, June 7, 2019

In a series of events I honestly never saw coming, two “underdog” teams now lead the finals series in their respective sports.

The Toronto Raptors have a 2-1 lead against the defending champion Golden State Warriors, and the St. Louis Blues shocked the world with a win and now a 3-2 lead against Boston in the Stanley Cup Finals.

First, to the NBA.

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There are many who will say the Game 3 loss on Wednesday night was because of two huge pieces missing from the Golden State lineup, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson. The Warriors have done pretty well without Durant this playoffs, and historically throughout the past two seasons if you really dig down into the stats. But once you remove Thompson, the foundation becomes a little wobblier. Steph Curry and the other supporting players can’t hold down a team on their own without another major shooter.

Regardless, Toronto took advantage of Golden State’s shaky lineup and snagged a massive win at Oracle Arena in Oakland, one of the hardest places in the league to play! Friday night, the Raptors and Warriors will take the court for Game 4, again at Oracle Arena. If Toronto can get another W there, I have my doubts the Warriors will win Game 5 back in Toronto. The Raptors will lift the championship trophy for the first time in franchise history.

However (in my Stephen A. Smith voice), Klay Thompson is back for Game 4, giving the Warriors that much more shooting prowess and defense, which is what they badly needed Wednesday night. The Warriors are truly in a must-win scenario, because losing that game will put them in desperation mode in a very, very hostile Toronto environment.

On the ice, the Bruins are fuming at a controversial play that gave St. Louis the edge in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals on Thursday. A missed tripping call on Noel Acciari led to the Blues’ go ahead goal.

Yes, it probably shouldn’t have been missed. This is about o the same level as the no-call from the NFC Championship game between the Rams and the Saints. At least, that’s probably what Bruins fans will say. Now, like Toronto could potentially see, the Blues are returning to their home arena for what could be the final game of the series. And, like Toronto, could hoist the championship trophy for the first time in franchise history.

What can I say, I’m rooting for history!