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Where’s the fight, Warriors? It’s all in Game 5 of the NBA Finals

By Daniel Zhu, age 10

 

They Fought Back...

In NBA finals 2019, when Warriors lost both games at their home court, many people thought that Raptors were going to win the series; in fact, a party was about to be thrown to celebrate the Raptors’ first championship win in franchise history. However, the Warriors did not give the Raptors an easy win. Instead, the players and the team played their hardest and didn’t go down without a fight.

Both The Players...

Many injured players or players that didn’t make much impact earlier in the NBA Finals exploded in Game 5. Without the perseverance of the players, Golden State Warriors would have lost to Raptors easily.

As you may know, Kevin Durant was injured during the semi-conference finals against the Rockets. Yet, he played very hard in Game 5, and in 12 minutes, he had 11 points and one block. In fact, he played so hard that he ended up tearing his Achilles tendon. Without Kevin Durant, Warriors would have lost at least 13 points (2 from the block plus the eleven he scored).

Also, Kevon Looney, who was injured in the chest in Game 2 when he was blocking Kawhi Leonard’s layup, came back to play Game 5. Although his performance was not as impressive as Kevin Durant, he still scored four points for the team. Sadly, he ended up reaggravating his injury and sitting out of the rest of the game, and probably the rest of the series too.

In addition, DeMarcus, who started out really badly in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, ended up scoring 14 points in the twenty minutes that he played as a sub for Looney, along with five defensive rebounds and six total rebounds, the third-most on the team.

Finally, and as usual, Curry and Thompson carried the team to its Game 5 victory. Without them, the Warriors would be a jumbled-up mess, without anyone to hold them together. As always, Curry and Thompson were scoring leaders in Game 5, scoring 31 and 26 points respectively, with Thompson hitting the game-winning trey for the Warriors.

You might be wondering, “What about Draymond Green?” Though he only scored 10 points, he blocked Lowry’s buzzer three. If it hadn’t been for him, Raptors may have won. So, I decided to honor him here too. As you can see, many of the Warriors’ players persevered, so as to give Warriors its Game 5 victory.

And The Team

As you probably know, basketball not only requires individual skills but also teamwork. And the best way to see how teamwork is going is by looking at assists, for they symbolize one helping another teammate score. And the person with the most assists on Warriors is surprisingly not Curry, who plays the point guard position and performs the most passes, but Draymond Green, who has 8 assists, while Curry has 7. But they have much better teamwork than the Raptors, whose highest amount of assists are from Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry, with six assists each.

You might be wondering, “Why is that?” This may not be true, but I think that it is because Raptors put more emphasis on personal skills than teamwork. You can tell by their player stats; every player that played in Game 5 scored double digits except for three players. Another way you can show this is by looking at the number of people that weren’t allowed to play, because this may mean that instead of creating an opportunity for players that aren’t that good to explode during that game, you only want the players with good individual skills to play. As you can see, only one person on Warriors sat out, Jonas Jerebko, while four people on Raptors sat out.

However, an argument that Raptors also have good teamwork is that the player’s scores are very evenly distributed. This shows that passes are being utilized to give different people an opportunity to shoot. In addition, this is very consistent throughout the game. But, as I mentioned earlier, this could also be because each player has a good individual skill, e.g. they are good at rebounding, so that are able to put many shots back up, giving them many points.

Although their teamwork in Game 5 is similar to that from the beginning of the NBA Finals, their skill didn’t deteriorate under the pressure of losing 2 games in a row at their own home court.

As a result, I am very proud of the Warriors, and I hope their legacy will last as long as possible. Although many people say that the reign of the Warriors will soon come to an end after KD and Klay both got injured, I know that they will fight back, like true warriors.


Daniel Zhu, 10, California

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