The titanic battle between the defending champion Toronto Raptors and the Boston Celtics is about to enter its final act, and basketball fans around the world are salivating at the prospect of another epic war like Game 6.
Which team will extend their stay in Orlando and continue the hunt for the Larry O’Brien Trophy?
Catch this game live on September 12 at 9 AM, Manila time.
HOME TEAM: #2 Toronto Raptors (3-3)
The defending champions are still standing. Despite another bad offensive night from Pascal Siakam, the Raptors managed to force a Game 7 with a heart-stopping 125-122 double-overtime win in Game 6.
Kyle Lowry stood tall in that game, as he put the Raptors on his back and scored 33 points with six 3-pointers. Siakam tried to be aggressive, but his shots simply wouldn’t fall. Siakam ended up with just 12 points on 5-for-19 shooting from the field but had a game-high in the plus/minus category with 13.
Normal Powell came off the bench and gave birth to Playoff Powell by scoring 23 points in 38 minutes.
Siakam has been wildly inconsistent in the playoffs, as he’s shooting just 39.4 FG% since the postseason started, but that doesn’t mean he has to take his foot off the gas.
The Raptors need him to continue attacking to complement Lowry and Fred VanVleet, who’s the team’s leading scorer in the second round. VanVleet, who had 21 points in Game 6, is averaging 19.6 points in this series.
The Raptors are also hoping that their shots from deep will continue falling after going 19 for 27 on their 3-point shots in Game 6.
ROAD TEAM: #3 Boston Celtics (3-3)
Kemba Walker did not get the ‘Cardiac Kemba’ nickname by disappearing in huge games, but that’s exactly what he did in Game 6, as the former UConn Huskies star spat out just five points on 2-for-11 shooting despite playing a ton of minutes.
However, that was a rare dud for Walker, who’s averaging 20.2 points per game in the playoffs. The Celtics instead relied on the pair of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown for most of their offense, as they scored 29 and 31 points, respectively.
Walker will be the first person to admit he was not himself in Game 6, though, his struggles were mostly due to the box-and-one defensive tactic the Raptors stuck on him.
Still, he’s too good of a player to be a non-factor two games in a row, so expect Walker to put up a much better performance in Game 7. The Celtics surely could have used his big shot-making ability in Game 6, but let’s see if Cardiac Kemba makes a cameo on Saturday.
The Celtics were just a decent Kemba Walker game away from finishing the series in six games. He can’t be scoring five points again in a win-or-go-home Game 7. Together with Tatum and Brown, Walker will lead the Celtics to a 105-102 win.