By Chad Cooper
Just when you think the NBA Finals couldn’t take a crazier turn, Kevin Durant goes and blows a foot out while Toronto fans show their ugly side by booing him; the Warriors squander a big lead only to pull an Undertaker move and raise from the dead to win; and Kyle Lowry embarrassed himself with that last second shot attempt (using the words “shot attempt” mildly).
Before we get to KD, let’s talk about the bone-headed timeout call by Raptors’ head coach Nick Nurse, which rivals that of Chris Webber’s infamous TO some 26 years ago in the National Championship game between Michigan (Fab 5) and North Carolina.
The Raptors were down double-figures in the 4th. Then Kawhi Leonard goes “NBA Jam” on the Warriors by scoring 10-straight points (cue the vintage “He’s Heating Up • He’s on Fire”) to take a 103-97 lead. Toronto was 3 minutes away from celebrating something they have never celebrated before. GSW had collapsed. Kawhi is about to be named MVP and get all the $ in the world this offseason.
STOP THE CLOCK. Golden State ripped off three consecutive 3-pointers to take 106-103 lead. Thanks Coach.
Despite the misfortunate TO, the Raptors had once last chance to celebrate. Down 106-105, Kawhi passed the ball, which eventually got into the hands of Lowry who took a 3-pointer in the corner, only to see it hit the side of the backboard.
I don’t care how many Warrior defenders were on you – Kawhi, you have to take the last shot! MJ, Kobe, LBJ took those shots. As good as Kawhi has been, you don’t pass that up. Build your legacy, like you did against the 76ers. Imagine Kawhi hitting another buzzer beater, but this team to win the NBA World Title, earn MVP, Canadian GOAT status with a blank check in the offseason.
The Finals head back to Oakland for Game 6 on Thursday for the final game in Oracle Arena. The Warriors are 3-point favorites with a 210.5-point total. Underdog road teams are 4-0 in this series.
As Good Ol’ JR says – Look at the Carnage!!!
After missing a month of the playoffs with a diagnosis of a “mild calf strain,” KD returned only to collapse on the court with a nasty foot injury. He was 3-3 with 11 points and the Warriors were rolling. KD returns and saves the day, right?
All indications are that of a snapped Achilles tendon. Though nothing is “official,” those types of injuries shorten careers. Players are never the same.
Warriors GM Bob Myers broke down in the post game press conference. He knows how serious the injury was. Were GSW desperate and rush KD back too fast? If so, it was with disastrous results and calamitous consequences.
Not only does this once again change the tone of the Finals but it certainly will affect free agency. If that is the diagnosis, many players have missed a year of action. KD will be 31 and wouldn’t play again until sometime in 2020.
And if you think the NBA Finals are wacky, just wait until Free Agency starts June 30. Kawhi, Kyrie, Kemba, Klay, Kristaps and, of course, KD.