All eyes will be on Kevin Durant, as league sources told NBC Sports Bay Area's Monte Poole that the Warriors' star forward will play in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
But if the whistles start blowing early, the referees will quickly jump into the spotlight.
The officials for Monday night's game in Toronto will be James Capers, Jason Phillips and Ed Malloy. And it appears that could be a bad thing for the Warriors.
Capers and Phillips both officiated the Warriors' 118-109 loss to the Raptors in Game 1, and Toronto is 9-1 in playoff games with Capers as a referee, Raptors reporter Kevin Rashidi pointed out Monday.
Officials for Game 5: James Capers, Jason Phillips and Ed Malloy. Raptors are 9-1 in playoff games officiated by James Capers. Capers and Phillips both officiated in the Game 1 Raptors win.— Kevin Rashidi (@KevinRashidi) June 10, 2019
There was a combined 63 free throws in Game 1, but the Warriors (31) shot only one less than the Raptors (32). If there are quick whistles on Golden State early in Game 5, Draymond Green will have to keep his cool.
Green has five technical fouls in the playoffs. A seventh tech would result in a one-game suspension.
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The Warriors can't let the refs play a big role with their season on the brink of ending. All they can focus on is themselves, and they should get a big boost on the court with Durant's return.