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Raptors, Siakam dominate, claim Game 1 victory over Warriors

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Pascal Siakam scored a playoff career-high 32 point

TORONTO (Diya TV) – Before Game 1, there was an enormous amount of commotion about whether the Raptors are the Warriors’ hardest opponent in the NBA Finals during the Stephen Curry era. And now, it has been proven true. There is a different question lingering in the minds of millions of fans. Will the Warriors defend their title, or will their dynasty crumble to the first time finals contenders?

Historically speaking, the winner of Game 1 is also the winner of the finals around 70.8% of the time. This may not be the case for the reigning champs, but it is definitely a tight spot for them. When confronted with the situation, Steve Kerr said, “The experience helps…nothing is going to catch these guys off guard, and they are very accustomed to the rhythm and tone of a seven-game series and how long it takes, how many twists and turns there are.” He expressed his confidence in his team, while also conceding that the Raptors did outplay them.

Insights

Pascal Siakam showed everyone why he is a frontrunner in the Most Improved race. He silenced the Warriors while scoring 32 points, 20 of which came in the second half, when the Warriors are most dominant. Draymond Green, however, took the blame for the Warriors’ lack of defense and is hoping to improve before Game 2. When asked about Siakam, Draymond said “…I got to do a better job of taking his (Siakam’s) rhythm away, and I will, but he had a great game. But that’s on me.” Draymond has been stuck in the midst of a huge reorganization with started with Kevin Durant. In his pregame interview, Steve Kerr said that he trusts Draymond to “make the right decision.” Draymond has an affect both on and off the court, recording his third triple-double in a row tonight.

Curry continued his streak of 30+ points while also becoming the first player to make 100 career three-pointers in the Finals. Kawhi Leonard, on the other hand, had a subtle presence in the game. He was the target of the Warriors, indirectly helping Siakam seal the win. These two forces are sure to clash in the rest of the Finals, and it will certainly be an interesting battle between these two legacy-makers.

Looking Ahead

Steve Kerr confirmed that Kevin Durant will not play in Game 2, and the Warriors can’t receive comfort that Kevin Durant might play in Oakland. The Raptors will continue to have home court advantage for Game 2. If the Warriors can prevail, they might actually continue their dynasty without it crumbling. The Warriors sights are already set on Game 2. Stephen Curry said that everybody is “…focusing on what they need to do differently and the overall energy bump that we need to have and then go steal Game 2.”

The Raptors must keep their momentum going as they head into Game 2. They have won their 5 last games and are definitely looking to get the most out of their home-court advantage. Even though Kevin Durant isn’t playing in Game 2, Kawhi’s take on Kevin Durant returning is that “…everybody knows who he is and for sure we’re going to have to prep for him.”

Catch courtside postgame analysis by Diya TV’s Ravi Kapur & Jonathan Choe from Game 1

The second game will be on Sunday, June 2 at 8pm Eastern/5pm Pacific in Scotiabank Arena, Toronto.

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India Rising puts forth valiant effort in loss to Boeheim’s Army in TBT

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SYRACUSE (Diya TV) — With The Basketball Tournament commencing, most eyes have been set on Boeheim’s Army and their path to repeating as champions. However, their first match provided an opponent true to its name: India Rising. 

While one may look at the 90-62 score and disregard the India Rising squad, when watching the game, the team did truly give Boeheim’s Army a run for their money in the first half. Facing a team full of guys who played under one of the greatest basketball coaches ever, Jim Boeheim, India Rising jumped out to an early 5-0 lead and was able to keep pace with Boeheim’s Army for a substantial amount of time. Most people may have written them off early but they kept fighting. They had a clear cut goal to bring attention to basketball players of Indian descent by pulling off a cinderella win and carve a path for themselves. It is clear that they put in their full effort to try and realize those goals.

In the second half, Boeheim’s army was able to pull away but India Rising had made their message clear: Indian ballers should not be overlooked. The box score does not paint the real picture of how much heart, determination, and grit India Rising displayed to get more recognition. General manager Gautam Kapur and head coach Ajay Sharma have done an excellent job overseeing the initiative and giving the best Indian hoopers a chance to shine on a big stage. 

In a 64 team tournament, India Rising stood out and gave a near-professional squad a tough time. For what this team set out to achieve, no heads should be hung low. India Rising should be getting the recognition they so rightfully deserve.

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Warriors win Game 5 at home, now just one game away from the title

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) —The Golden State Warriors are just one win away from their fourth title in eight years. The Dubs returned home and overpowered the Boston Celtics 104-94 to take a 3-2 series lead, even though Stephen Curry only scored 16. Infact, Curry did not make a single three, a first in the last 3.5 years. Andrew Wiggins on the other hand matched Tatum while scoring a team-high 26 points and added 13 rebounds, including the dagger dunk to finish off Boston. 

Draymond Green saw glimpses of a turnaround game as he was very close to a triple double before fouling out for the 3rd time in this series. Klay Thompson made a great contribution on the offensive end with 21 points, on the third anniversary of his horrific injury in the finals against the Cavaliers in 2019 . The Warriors trio of Curry, Thompson and Green were able to cement themselves even further with their 20th Finals win together, the most of any trio over the past 30 years.

The Celtics saw franchise star Jayson Tatum have a better game scoring wise than the last game with a team-high 27 points. But while Tatum showed up for game 5, Jaylen Brown did not. When both of those players are on at the same time, the Celtics can light it up. However, there has been inconsistency from both throughout the Finals. The C’s will need both guys to be on for them to fend off the Dubs and force a Game 7.

The Warriors can close out the series and add a 7th ring to their collection with a win on Thursday in the hostile environment of TD Garden. A collective team effort would do the trick as in Game 4, Curry shouldered the load while the rest of his supporting cast did the same for him. The Celtics will look to put forth their best effort of the season in a final effort to keep their season alive. It could very well come down to if both Tatum and Brown can prove they can be a dynamic duo on the biggest stage.

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Warriors seal Game 4 victory with an epic Steph Curry performance, tie series 2-2

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BOSTON (Diya TV) — The Warriors, seal Game 4 victory with a vintage Stephen Curry performance, evened up the NBA Finals in an absolute thriller, winning 107-97.

The start of the game saw both teams match each other pound for pound with Boston ultimately taking the first quarter by a single point. There were notions before the game about Curry having a foot sprain, but he quickly laid those doubts to rest. He began to heat up in the first quarter (and talked some trash along the way). Conversely, Draymond Green continued his finals performance with more fouls than points. Robert Williams III showed off his skills as a rim protector on defense, which was a missing piece for the Celtics up until the point of Williams’ return. In the first half, Curry and Jayson Tatum battled against each other in classic star matchup fashion with Curry scoring 19 and Tatum going for 16. Tatum was money from beyond the arc (made 3 out of his 4 three-point attempts), just like he’s been all Finals as he’s been shooting 48% on 3’s.

The officiating in the first half was questionable, especially in the second quarter when Payton Pritchard clearly traveled and yet a foul was called instead. This set off Warriors HC Steve Kerr and his temper led to him getting a technical foul. For a non-call to be that egregious and then to double down by giving Kerr the technical foul is asinine and something that certainly sparked controversy. Attention was also brought to the Celtics free throw attempts versus the Warriors (15 and 5 respectively) even with both teams attacking the basket often. Despite this disparity, the Warriors were able to keep it within 5 at the end of the half.

More Curry magic continued in the second half with him carrying the team on his back, in essence. 43 points highlight the stat line but when watching the game, it was clear as day that he was really the only dependable source of scoring throughout the ballgame for the Dubs. With 7 threes made tonight, we saw the greatest shooter in league history go to work and will his team to victory. In the biggest stage of basketball, Curry made his mark once again.

The Celtics now face a daunting Game 5 heading to San Francisco. Winning both games on their home court would have all but sealed a championship for them. But now, the door has not only creaked, but swung wide open. The #1 defense in the NBA will gameplan to try and find answers for Curry. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown will be facing a challenging environment in Chase Center, but one they are familiar with. 

Meanwhile, the Warriors will look to capitalize off the momentum and adrenaline this win has given them. Off the heels of a classic performance, Curry will try to carry on his titanium-strong Finals MVP case. Draymond Green, coming back to friendly faces in San Francisco, will try to turn around an awful stretch. This series is shaping up to be a dramatic one with both teams trading blows. Game 5 should deliver more popcorn-worthy entertainment, especially if Stephen Curry is involved.

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