•   
  •   
  •   

SportsWhat they’re saying about us: U.S. media don’t give Toronto Raptors a chance in NBA Finals

19:06  30 may  2019
19:06  30 may  2019 Source:   thestar.com

Opinion: Are Warriors better without Kevin Durant? It's more complicated than that

Opinion: Are Warriors better without Kevin Durant? It's more complicated than that With Durant sidelined for Game 1 of the Western Conference finals, Steph Curry and the Warriors looked more like champions than they have all season. © Provided by USA Today Sports Media Group LLC Stephen Curry scored a game-high 36 points in Game 1. They’ve done it out of necessity. Shorn of the luxury of Durant’s ability to marshal offensive opportunities at will, the Warriors have simply gone back to how things were done before he came along. Speedy ball-movement, seeking an open man. Vigorous intensity.

Toronto is ready for its close-up. With hundreds of journalists from all over the world at Scotiabank Arena for the NBA Finals , we take a look at what’ s being said about the Raptors FiveThirtyEight, which focuses on opinion poll analysis and politics, gives the Raptors a 55 per cent chance of winning.

The Toronto Raptors did have a twin: they entered the league alongside the Vancouver Grizzlies in The expansion draft did not give them a chance to be competitive immediately (unlike in the NHL The NBA is a global sport. Canada will always be that first step outside of the U . S when it comes to

What they’re saying about us: U.S. media don’t give Toronto Raptors a chance in NBA Finals© Steve Russell Toronto Raptors centre Marc Gasol is surrounded Wednesday by reporters on media day as the Toronto Raptors and Golden State Warriors get set for the NBA Finals.

Toronto is ready for its close-up. With hundreds of journalists from all over the world at Scotiabank Arena for the NBA Finals, we take a look at what’s being said about the Raptors and our city. (hint: it’s a lot of Drake):

ESPN

The American sports giant polled its panel of 21 experts and only two picked the Raptors to win.

“Kawhi Leonard, Kyle Lowry and the Raptors are a real threat, but the Warriors are still outstanding without (Kevin) Durant, have much more Finals experience and are very well rested for the first time in a while,” wrote Marc Spears, senior NBA writer for the Undefeated.

Who ya got? Previewing, predicting the Raptors-Warriors NBA Finals

Who ya got? Previewing, predicting the Raptors-Warriors NBA Finals With just two teams left standing in the quest for the Larry O'Brien Trophy, theScore NBA writers Joseph Casciaro and Joe Wolfond return to break down the 2019 Finals between the Toronto Raptors and the Golden State Warriors. Predictions Casciaro: Raptors in 7 Yup, I think I just picked the Toronto Raptors to win the NBA championship. I've maintained all season that the Warriors would barely survive another championship run before ultimately emerging with a three-peat and then disbanding, but there are a number of factors working in Toronto's favor entering The Finals.

Speaking at the NBA Finals Media Day Wednesday, Golden State Warriors superstar Steph Curry said playing in Toronto is "special" to him because of the connec Curry also said he' s glad to see the Toronto Raptors "get over the hump" to reach the NBA Finals .

The Raptors ’ length and athleticism make them perhaps the best outfitted team to answer Golden Toronto ’ s Kawhi Leonard, right, has been nearly unstoppable during the Raptors ’ run to the NBA If the NBA decides to expand or relocate a current team, the Canadian city that would seem the best fit

CBS Sports

The only thing its panel of experts disagree with is how long the series will last. All 10 of its experts picked the Warriors to win the NBA Finals.

James Hébert notes that there’s “a near-total absence of useful data about the matchup.”

“It’s not just that Golden State and Toronto only met twice this season; it is that those two meetings are essentially meaningless. Both were before the Raptors traded Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright and C.J. Miles for Marc Gasol. Both were before DeMarcus Cousins made his season debut. Key players sat out.”

What they’re saying about us: U.S. media don’t give Toronto Raptors a chance in NBA Finals© Steve Russell Golden State Warriors forward Alfonzo McKinnie blocks a shot on basket by Jimmy Kimmel security guard Guillermo Rodriguez as the Toronto Raptors and Golden State Warriors host open practice and media day Wednesday on the eve of the NBA Finals.

FiveThirtyEight

How Masai Ujiri built a juggernaut Raptors team without any lottery picks

How Masai Ujiri built a juggernaut Raptors team without any lottery picks Ujiri’s relentless wheeling and dealing has finally paid off with Toronto’s first-ever NBA Finals appearance.

" National media broadcasters will spew points about the Toronto Raptors that just aren' t all that accurate throughout the regular season because they James' s absence from the NBA Finals , due to the Lakers missing the playoffs, has been a possible factor for why U . S . ratings for the Finals have

The Raptors slowly dragged their way back into it though and, with Kawhi Leonard at the helm and just three minutes remaining, the Canadian side had The Raptors ' long-time point guard Kyle Lowry had his chance to win the game and the Raptors first ever NBA championship but missed, meaning the

There is one American website, however, that does predict the Toronto Raptors winning the NBA Finals. FiveThirtyEight, which focuses on opinion poll analysis and politics, gives the Raptors a 55 per cent chance of winning.

But the website’s founder Nate Silver warns his readers not to “wager all your loonies on the Raptors.”

“I do want to point out that ‘slight’ really does mean ‘slight’ in this instance,” Silver wrote. “The Raptors are merely 55 per cent favorites in the series, at least based on our current understanding (as of early Wednesday morning) of the injury prognosis for Durant and Cousins. In our election forecasts, we’d label a race like that as a ‘toss-up.’”

Read more:

From Skip Bayless to Smash Mouth, who’s hating on the Raptors and why

Opinion | The Raptors’ Jurassic Park is a racial utopia. The rest of Toronto needs work

The 6 gets some love

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith already made headlines last week when he complained about being pulled aside for 90 minutes by customs at Pearson airport. In the discussion on First Take, he said: “Dammit, I didn’t think getting into Canada would be this hard! … I know I am whining. I know I am complaining. I don’t give a damn!”

Why the Raptors’ defense is built to stop the Warriors

Why the Raptors’ defense is built to stop the Warriors The Warriors have never faced a defense like this, and it’s showing.

Final thoughts. So, we ’re either going to have the first NBA championship by a team from Canada Leonard takes the technical free throw for Toronto and drills it. He also makes the next Raptors ’ Curry scores and we hit another stretch where neither team looks like they know what they ’ re doing

The Toronto Raptors , led by Pascal Siakam, defeated the Golden State Warriors 118-109 in Game 1 of the NBA Finals Thursday night, despite a late-game -According to several online ticket agencies, it was the most expensive Game 1 in NBA history. The average resale price was about US ,360

But he was much more complimentary this week, as fans on the Real GM fan site noted. “I’ve got to tell you something, Toronto is a fabulous city. It’s got everything. I mean, everything.”

Smith’s eyeroll is legendary.

Bruce Jenkins, sports columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, marvelled at the city’s diversity.

“A walk along Toronto’s main drag, Yonge Street, is to be transported into a truly international landscape,” Jenkins wrote. “Branching out, visitors might find themselves in Chinatown, Greektown, Little Poland, Little Italy, Little India. The influence of basketball, in certain pockets of town, is striking to behold.

Jurassic Park, where ticket-less fans go to watch the Raptors on the big screen outside Scotiabank Arena, also got some praise.

“There isn’t a more joyous public setting in the sporting universe,” Jenkins wrote.

Drake obsession

When ESPN isn’t busy breaking down the matchup between the two teams, it’s reporting on the latest antics involving Drake. The NBA spoke with the Raps about Drizzy’s courtside presence ahead of the Finals, according to reporter Michele Steele.

What they’re saying about us: A comeback for the Raptors depends on who you ask

What they’re saying about us: A comeback for the Raptors depends on who you ask What they’re saying about us: A comeback for the Raptors depends on who you ask

The article doesn’t specify what was said but reminds readers this wasn’t the first time the NBA confronted the rapper, who was warned last year after he exchanged words with the Cavaliers’ Kendrick Perkins during the series between the Raptors and Cavs.

It seemed like everybody has been asked about Drake, whose antics courtside has been endless fodder for talk shows leading up to the NBA Finals. On Monday, Warriors coach Stephen Kerr was asked what would happen if the Toronto rapper gave him a quick shoulder rub.

“I’m not worried about Drake. I called him on his cellphone earlier and ... my daughter’s rolling her eyes right now,” Kerr said, referencing Drake’s “Hotline Bling,” sparking laughter from reporters.

On Wednesday, Warriors’ sharpshooter Klay Thompson was asked at his media availability if he’d keep Drake’s music on his playlist.

“If it’s a bad song, I’ll skip it,” Thompson said. “But if it’s one of his hits, I’ll play it. . . . But I will definitely skip the song if I don’t like it. And if it’s one of his soft R & B songs, I’m going to skip it, because I’m in kill mode right now. I’m trying to get these four games. So I’ll skip ‘Hotline Bling’ and anything along that line.”

Toronto hosting the world

Fox Sports ran an Associated Press article calling Thursday’s game the “most international NBA Finals” yet, with players from eight different countries in the series. There are 215 countries broadcasting the Finals, including a half-dozen networks from Australia, Estonia, Hong Kong and New Zealand airing the series for the first time.

Opinion: Steph Curry sees what it's like to play without All-Stars surrounding him

Opinion: Steph Curry sees what it's like to play without All-Stars surrounding him Steph Curry was spectacular in Game 3, but it wasn't enough for the injury-depleted Warriors to beat the Raptors.

The outlet’s Colin Cowherd also isn’t counting out the Raptors, and that there’s a precedent for an upset.

Zaniness has started

It was media day Wednesday, which isn’t as crazy as its circus-like counterpart for the Super Bowl — the football version includes celebrities, fans, journalists and the occasional marriage proposal. But it was still a bit of a zoo at Scotiabank Arena.

ABC late-night host Jimmy Kimmel sent his security guard Guillermo Rodriguez, who tried to get some of the Raptors to do maple syrup shots with him. OG Anunoby — who still hasn’t played after an emergency appendectomy last month — declined, citing allergies so Guillermo ended up downing both.

Temur Durrani is a breaking news reporter, working out of the Star's radio room in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter: @temurdur

Patrick Ho is a rewrite editor working on the Star's digital desk in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter: @patrick_ho_007

Read more

Tactical Issues: How will the Raptors and Warriors adjust in Game 6?.
Tonight, the Raptors look to earn a title on the road, while the Warriors want to rally from tragedy and force Game 7. How will both try to get it done? Down 3-1, the Golden State Warriors went to Toronto and took Game 5, giving them a new lease on life and putting them in position to force a winner-take-all Game 7 by winning Game 6 at home. Unfortunately for the Warriors, their win came at a cost, one that’s already started a ripple effect throughout the league.

Topical videos:

usr: 1
This is interesting!