At the end of the day, the only two numbers that matter at the end of a basketball game are the final scores of each team. Unfortunately for the Raptors, they came up on the wrong side of that stat, trailing the Warriors by 5 points when time ran out on the clock Sunday night. Regardless, looking at the numbers behind the numbers is fun for us basketball junkies, so as you could assume, we’re going to dive in it and analyze them. Here are 5 stats that I found interesting from the Game 2 loss.
This is the number of baskets straight that the Warriors had in this game coming off assists. They broke down the best defense in the league with their back cuts and constant movement both on and off the ball. Their 34 assists in the game was enough to double the Raptors’ 17. Having assisted on 89.5% of their baskets, the Warriors set a modern era record, with that as the highest assist percentage in an NBA Finals game in the past 59 years. Nick Nurse will have his hands full once again, trying to make the Dubs uncomfortable whipping the ball between defenders for the easy bucket.
This is the amount of time that the Raptors went in the fourth quarter, between the 6:19 mark and that dreaded 0:05.9 mark, that they held the Warriors to just 2 points. It was after Klay Thompson left the game upon suffering a left hamstring strain, and Kyle Lowry fouled out, that the Raptors quickly switched their defensive scheme to a box-and-one play style, keeping four defenders in a zone defense, and having Fred VanVleet chase Steph Curry everywhere he went. It worked to perfection, as the Warriors’ only two points came off a Bogut alley-oop. If Klay and KD are held out of Game 3, we can expect to see some more of Nurse’s crafty schemes on the defensive end.
If anything, this is the number that Raptors fans should be blaming for their loss. Not the 7 threes that Klay and Steph combined to hit, or Draymond’s near triple double, or Siakam’s 5/18 shooting. 27:41 is the amount of time that 5 time NBA all-star Kyle Lowry played in a game of the NBA Finals. For the game to be competitive, he has to play at least 38 minutes, as he is the bulldog that wills the Raptors through their struggles. They could have used his leadership during their fourth quarter drought, however due to foul trouble he was unable to go. One could blame the officials for some questionable calls during the game, but at the end of the day Kyle Lowry is too valuable to his team to be picking up 6 fouls in under 28 minutes. He has to do a better job of staying in the game, and out of foul trouble.
23 is not only the number that Draymond shouldn’t be wearing, but is also the amount by which the Raptors outscored the Warriors in second chance points on Wednesday. How many second chance points did the Raptors have in total? 23. That’s what’s even more impressive. After having lost the battle on the offensive glass, and second chance points in Game 1, they bolstered back in Game 2, allowing the Warriors 0 production from their 6 offensive rebounds. Guys like Steph, Klay, and dare I say KD are extremely dangerous when the defense is scrambling after giving up an offensive rebound, so if the Raps can continue to control the boards, they might have a decent chance of winning.
4 300 000
This is not a basketball related stat, but is something that you have to be proud of as a Canadian. 4.3 million is the number of Canadian viewers watching the game on average, according to Josh Lewenberg of TSN. This does not include viewers streaming the ABC feed either, so it is expected to be slightly understated. Regardless, this was the highest-ever viewed NBA game in Canada, having broken Game 1’s record set just days earlier. To put this into perspective, that means approximately 12% of all of Canada was watching the Toronto Raptors play the Golden State Warriors Sunday night. Hopefully this record doesn’t last too long. Game 3, here we come.