After the Warriors made quick work of the Portland Trail Blazers, and the Raptors were able to come back from being down 2-0 against Milwaukee to win in 6 games, we have an NBA Finals matchup:
Toronto versus Golden State
This marks the first time since 2014 that the Cleveland Cavaliers will not be representing the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals. That is also the last time that Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green were in the NBA Finals, winning it all as members of the San Antonio Spurs.
In their 5th straight NBA Finals, the Golden State Warriors will attempt to be the first team since the Bill Russell-led Boston Celtics to win at least 4 championships within 5 seasons, another cap in the feather of their dynasty.
Standing in the way are the Raptors, the first team to represent Canada in the Finals in league history. Kawhi Leonard has been on a tear all postseason, averaging 31.2 PPG.
Will that be enough for Toronto to become the second team in 5 years to defeat the Warriors in a postseason series, or will they become the first team since the Lakers in 2002 to win their third straight championship?
Would a win for Toronto be able to sway Kawhi Leonard into staying long term?
What would have to happen for Kevin Durant to come away wanting to stay in Golden State? Will he play at all?
Will Steph Curry FINALLY win a Finals MVP?
Well, all those questions are on the table as we approach Game 1 of the Finals tonight.
Before we go, here is an updated list of our leaderboard based on predictions throughout this postseason:
- Kennedy: 34 points
- Gaashaan: 31 points
- Fredy: 27 points
- Nick: 26 points
- Kerm: 25 points
- Mike: 25 points
- Trevor: 19 points
Kennedy and Gaashaan were the only people to pick Toronto, and they get the spoils of that prediction: the top two spots of our leaderboard.
For the NBA Finals, we’ll up the ante again:
- Picking the correct team + the number of games they win = 12 points
- Picking the correct team = 6 points
We also have a category for Finals MVP; if someone picks that correctly, they will get 3 points
Now for some coverage
(1) Golden State Warriors vs. (2) Toronto Raptors
Toronto won both games against Golden State this season
Nick: Warriors in 6; Finals MVP = Steph Curry
Due to having won more games than the Golden State Warriors this season, the Toronto Raptors will have the honor of hosting Game 1 of the NBA Finals, the first Eastern Conference team to do so since the 2014 Miami Heat. The Raptors have been led by the excellence of Kawhi Leonard, and with the help of the likes of Kyle Lowry, the team was able to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Warriors looked like a juggernaut in the Western Conference Finals, easily dismantling the Golden State Warriors behind a great series from Steph Curry, as well as Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. The Warriors led by at least 17 points in Game 2, Game 3, and Game 4, and were able to comeback and win each time; they’re locked in. This is the best Draymond Green has looked on offense in awhile, and with astounding ball movement, the Warriors look tough to beat. Then again, we also said this about the Bucks (and Giannis), but Kawhi & co. were able to lock in and shut the likely 2019 NBA MVP down. It will take a Herculean effort from Kawhi, and consistent play from his teammates, for Toronto to have any chance at winning this series. Having homecourt in the first 2 games will give this team the chance to take an early lead in the series, and the Raptors would be wise not to miss an opportunity like that. If Kevin Durant does not play in this series, the Raptors have a chance, but a chance at best. I see this being a competitive NBA Finals, and am so pleased to see some new blood out there (i.e. no more Cavs)… but the Warriors are on top of their game, and as good as Toronto has looked, I truly think Golden State is on a mission… sorry Kawhi, but this will be yet another coronation for this modern dynasty.
Game 1: Golden State Warriors vs. Toronto Raptors (5/30, 9:00 PM)
Game 2: Golden State Warriors vs. Toronto Raptors (6/2, 8:00 PM)
Game 3: Toronto Raptors vs. Golden State Warriors (6/5, 9:00 PM)
Game 4: Toronto Raptors vs. Golden State Warriors (6/7, 9:00 PM)
Game 5: Golden State Warriors vs. Toronto Raptors (6/10, 9:00 PM)*
Game 6: Toronto Raptors vs. Golden State Warriors (6/13, 9:00 PM)*
Game 7: Golden State Warriors vs. Toronto Raptors (6/16, 8:00 PM)*
All games on ESPN
Fredy: Warriors in 6
Mike: Warriors in 5
Kerm: Warriors in 6
Trevor: Warriors in 6
Gaashaan: Warriors in 4
Kennedy: Warriors in 6
Fredy: Steph Curry
Mike: Steph Curry
Kerm: Steph Curry
Trevor: Steph Curry
Gaashaan: Draymond Green
Kennedy: Steph Curry
Follow Hold My Drink Sports on Twitter (@holdmysporttake)