Title: Influence of G League on display for Raptors and Warriors in NBA Finals
Date: May 29, 2019
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about the heavy G League influence on the Raptors and Warriors in the NBA Finals.
For all the talk of the experience advantage the Warriors will hold in the NBA Finals, the Raptors enter the series equipped with a pair of Finals MVPs.
There is, of course, Kawhi Leonard, who won the award in 2014. While Leonard was threatening to disrupt the current Warriors dynasty before suffering a series-ending injury in 2017, Pascal Siakam was winning his own Finals MVP with Raptors 905 in what was then known as the D-League.
Siakam started that year, his rookie season, in the Raptors’ starting lineup. He was eventually deemed overmatched, removed from the rotation and sent to the 905 to hone his game. There, he received all the possessions and playing time he could handle, expanding his face-up game, pick-and-roll operation and overall offensive profile. By the time the D-League playoffs rolled around, he was casually putting up 20-and-10 stat-lines and helping lead the 905 to a championship in just their second year of existence.