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NBA, a new champion in the league

19.06.2019
Article from AFRIC Editorial
This Toronto Raptors win is also a triumph for Africa because Canada's franchise is the most Africanized in the league. The most obvious symbol of this strong African connotation is none other than the Nigerian Masai Ujiri, general manager of this team. With his vision of basketball and remarkable trades with him operated, he has shown that Africa could have a very important role to play in the sport of high level.
Next to Masai Ujiri, there are other figures of the continent like the Congolese Patrick Mutombo, assistant coach and who has a very big role to play in the development of the players of the franchise. There are also many African or African players who form the new image of the team such as Pascal Siakam, Serge Ibaka, or OG Anunoby, all winners of the prestigious NBA title

Candidate for their own estate at the NBA 2019 Finals, the two-time Golden State Warriors lost their crown to the Toronto Raptors. This day marks forever the story of Canada’s franchise, which after 24 years in the league, finally had the right to lift the Larry O’Brien Trophy for the first time. After four quarters, two halfs and forty-eight minutes of play, the Raptors, who led in the series 3 win against 2 finally won and won the epic match of June 14, 2019 at the Oakland Arena on the score of 113 to 110.

The turn of the game, Klay Thompson’s injury

Top scorer of the game until the end of the 3rd quarter time, the number 11 of the Oakland franchise, author of 30 points two minutes from the end, had to shorten his game due to injury. Hit the knee on an innocuous action as he went to the dunk, the one who is affectionately nicknamed “man of game 6” in the finals, after his high-flyer in the 2015 West Conference 6-match against the Oklahoma City Thunder (OKC), Klay Thompson still had to give his person and return to the floor, as he was preparing to join the locker room, with a sore knee, shoot both throws free to give a 4-point advantage to his team before leaving his teammates. The option chosen at that time of the game despite all the risks was rather strategic, because if the latter did not shoot both throws after the fault he had suffered, he should not be entitled to replay all of the match as provided by the NBA texts.

The penalty was finally slow to fall while we wondered about the ability of number 11 to return to the floor to continue the game. It must be said that after the injury of Kevin Durant, considered until now as one of the best players of these playoffs, a Kevon Looney decreased by his shoulder injury, and the new relapse of KD, the spell really did not help the Golden State Warriors.At the beginning of the fourth quarter time, the Splash Brothers were finally declared out for the end of the match by the doctors and, with the previous incident on KD’s injury, it must be said that no one was inclined to take risks and thus endanger the health of a player.

The bad shape of Curry

In the absence of Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry naturally had more weight and responsibility on his shoulders. And contrary to what everyone in the Bay was waiting for, we rather saw a stunned Stephen Curry, head, base, mine discomfited, and who failed to influence the end of the game for his team by scoring only 4 points during the last quarter time.

Stephen Curry, however, had the sort of the win for the Golden State Warriors 9 seconds of the buzzer beater. But, it must be said that the double MVP was not in a big night, author of only 21 points of the whole game, he who has always yet accustomed to very high standards. The best to give him the shot of the win was, however, a risk in the views of his last performances during the buzzer in the regular season.

The coach Steve Kerr did not hesitate to make this choice because in the absence of his teammates Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, he remained the only Franchise Player on the floor capable of taking a long distance shot. In this register, the latest statistics did not argue in favor of the only “Unanimous MVP” in the history of the NBA which remained on 7 successive baskets missed in the last 20 at the buzzer this season.

Factors X, Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam

From the start of the playoffs until the birth of his second child in the Eastern conference finals against the Milwaukee Bucks, Fred VanVleet, already partner of Pascal Siakam, in the G – league, took things in hand during of the fourth quarter time by scoring 4 shots awarded in this quarter alone. The Toronto Reports were leading in this moment of the match under his leadership.

Authoring him 26 points and 10 rebounds, pascal Siakam, who had spent more than half of the fourth quarter time of match 5 on the bench, pulled out the big game to demonstrate to his coach that he had been wrong to leave him on the touch during the victory of the Warriors at the Scotiabank Arena. The best scorer of his team in this game tied with Kyle Lowry, the Spicy P has entered a little more history by becoming the first Cameroonian player titled in the US grand league.

The MVP of the finals

Arriving in the Canadian franchise after a season in the San Antonio Spurs, Kawhi Leonard was traded to the Raptors in exchange for Demar Derozan. Masai Ujiri did not hesitate to put on the balance Demar Derozan, however, the darling of the public of the Scotiabank Arena and the best scorer in the history of the franchise to offer the services of the “cyborg”. Betting rather daring for Masai Ujiri, but ultimately proving to be paying off on this day of victory.

Kawhi Leonard, nicknamed “The Klaw” arrived in a franchise, he did not know. With a status of free agent at the end of the season, the “taiseux”, known to be one of the best “two-way player” of the league, has multiplied the rushes and one against one to finish with 22 points to his personal counter. At one second of the end of the game, he had to assume his franchising player status to register two very important free throws and thus give a definite advantage to his team and close the match. The scoreboard then scored a score of 113 against, 110 in favor of the visitors.

Rewarded logically for the Bill Russell MVP Finals with an average of 29.8 points, 10.6 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game, after the 2014 against the Lebron James Miami Heats at the time, the The question then is whether “The Klaw” will continue the adventure with the franchise of Canada, or whether it will answer the outdoor sirens; he who always said he wanted to go back to Los Angeles, where his family is. So, when answering the question about his future after the match, he answered by saying that for now it was necessary to leave room for the party. All that remains is to wish good luck to Masai Ujiri, general manager of the Raptors to convince him to stay.

Article from AFRIC Editorial

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