Game 4 of he NBA finals was a disappointment. The Warriors who played are not the Warriors we are used to watching play. They did not have that explosiveness that has defined them for so many seasons.
It may be the injuries. Durant is out and Thomson is playing with a tender hamstring. And it may be that their legs have too many miles on them.
Whatever the reason, it looks like they just cannot keep up with the Raptors and Kawhi. Especially Kawhi. So I am expecting the Raptors to bring the championship trophy to Toronto, and Kawhi to be the MVP.
Beyond that, we might ask, what does this mean for these and other teams? For the Warriors, this is a troubling situation. Their incredible boat load of stars could not pull off a repeat. Not only that, Durant and Thomson are free agents. Thomson says he will re-sign. But Durant? After the dust up he had with Draymon Green, and this loss, Durant might be looking to move on.
And the Raptors? They will have to re-sign Kawhi. That will be more likely if they win the championship. But it is not guaranteed. Kawhi may now be in a position to think — as LeBron did — where is best media markets are. New York? LA? And who knows. He may wan to team up with … Durant.
And we might keep in mind that the Sixers took the Raptors to 7 games. Not only that, the Raptors only won that 7th game by a highly improbable last second corner 3 by Kawhi. And that was despite the fact that Joel was playing subpar ball due to injuries, Ben Simmons sill has no jump shot, and Tobias basically sucked. The Sixers should be feeling pretty good about next season.
What about those Sixers?`They need to bring in a back up to Joel. They will do that. They need to sign Jimmy to a max. They will do that. They need to upgrade the bench. They will do that. These are “no brainers”. The most interesting question is whether they stick with Tobias Harris. And that is a tough one.
Tobias has a lot of potential. But he did not play up to that potential last season. He has an excuse — he was forced to play out of position and did not have time to adjust. Fair enough. But can he adjust? Or would the Sixers be better served moving him?
Stay tuned on that one.