Draymond Green sees similarities between this year’s Raptors and the Warriors of old.
Golden State’s Swiss army knife said Saturday the teams are alike in some aspects, but the Raptors are more battled tested at this point in their run than the Warriors were in the beginning of theirs.
“Well, I think they have a very good mixture of youth and experience,” Green said. “They play fast, they really space the floor out very similar to how we play. They have a lot of length out on the floor, very similar to what we built everything on.
“So I think that there are a lot of similarities there. I think overall they may have a little more experience in the guys that’s playing a ton of minutes for them. I think those guys have more experience today than we had when we first started our run.”
The Raptors’ roster is littered with seasoned veterans who have plenty of playoff appearances. Among them are Kyle Lowry, Marc Gasol, Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard.
But it was Toronto’s Pascal Siakam who stole the spotlight in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. He exploded for 32 points, eight rebounds and five assists in the contest.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr even compared the 25-year-old Siakam to Green earlier this week.
“Siakam looks like a young Draymond (Green) to me,” Kerr said Monday. “You know, the way he plays the all-around game. Two-way player, big guy who can handle the ball in transition, good passer, can make threes. So he’s an excellent player.”
Green totaled 10 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, but only made two of his nine field-goal attempts in Thursday’s 118-109 loss. He has seen an uptick in usage with the absence of Kevin Durant, who has been sidelined with a calf strain since the second round of the playoffs.
The Warriors are playing in their fifth straight championship series while Toronto is making its debut on the big stage.
Golden State hasn’t been in this kind of situation before that, as it is down 0-1 without home court advantage.
The Raptors’ acquisition of a true superstar in Leonard, experienced role players and young upstarts could be enough to push the perennial favorites.