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Is the dynasty over?

It can happen so suddenly — the end of a season, a dynasty, an era. Few people in the sports world had internalized the idea — swirled it around in their brains, digested it, felt it — that the Toronto Raptors, the NBA’s accidental contender who catapulted themselves toward something greater with a trade for the ages, could clinch the NBA Championship Monday. Yes, the Toronto Raptors are one win from being the World Champions of Basketball! It defies logic, even for most die-hard Raptors fans, but they really are just one win away.

Does this mean the dynasty dies if the Warriors lose? Did it mean when the Eagles beat the Patriots two years ago that the Patriots dynasty was dead? To a lot of people, it did, but in truth, they were all overreacting, or maybe they were just wishing. As long as Steph Curry is still a warrior, the Warriors are still a threat and with a new arena opening is it that hard to believe that the Warriors couldn’t bring in a few pieces around Curry that could keep the dynasty alive? Either way we are about to see history one way or another.

Is Kawhi the best player in the NBA?

That’s up for debate, but what is not up for debate is the fact that over these playoffs he has been the best player in the league and more importantly his ability to make others around him better is why the Raptors are poised to be champions. Trying to shut down Leonard has led the Warriors to leave a great three-point shooter open and in these finals,  and Green has delivered.

Has Nick Nurse out-coached Steve Kerr?

Very simply that answer is a resounding yes! After game two when it seemed that the Warriors had figured out how to defend the Raptors, Coach Nurse made a huge change. The Raptors went away from the pick-and-roll to use more off-ball screening and cutting. Since that adjustment, the Warriors have not been able to find the right combination to defend these Raptors. Actually with this change to more cutting and less pick-and-roll for the Raptors actually looks like the old Kevin Durant-less Warriors teams. This basic change in offensive philosophy has made the Raptors almost impossible to guard. Can they figure it out by Monday?

Prediction

The odds which so strongly favored the Warriors at the start of this series now favor the Raptors, and if you want to bet on the Raptors you are going to have to give points in this game, my how times have changed! As of this writing, the Raptors are favored by 1-2 points, give the points and take the Raptors! Monday will be a special night in Toronto.

Raptors 108  Warriors 101

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