NBA Finals Preview


Stephen Young

The NBA Playoffs have been incredible thus far. Since the beginning of the first round, we have seen stars rise to the occasion and fight for every possession, hoping to lead their team to the next round. Players such as Seth Curry, Nikola Jokic, and Brook Lopez stepped out of their comfort zone and showed they are willing to do anything to help their team; however, they fell short of their goal. On the other hand, players such as Kawhi Leonard and Steph Curry proved to the world that they are in the Finals for a reason as they put their teams on their backs and led them to this spot. This is the first time in four years where the Warriors will not be facing LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers; instead, they will be facing Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors. With the unknown availability of both Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins, do the Raptors have enough to defeat the two-time defending champs?

Throughout the playoffs, Kawhi has made a case for himself as being the best player in the world. He has dominated on both sides of the ball and carried his team to the NBA Finals. He shut down the leading MVP candidate, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and tore apart the defense of the Milwaukee Bucks. However, the Golden State Warriors are a different monster. They are a team filled with All-Stars and have shown absolutely no signs of weakness throughout these playoffs. They have scored at will despite the absence of Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins. They have come from behind and dominated fourth quarters throughout the playoffs, proving that they are unbeatable in a seven game series. However, Steph Curry and the Warriors have not yet faced a well-rounded defensive team like the Raptors in the playoffs. Kawhi Leonard has shut down anyone he has guarded in the playoffs and doesn’t plan on stopping in the Finals. However, he cannot guard all five Warriors. With Durant and Cousins playing, it would be nearly impossible for the Raptors to consistently stop the offensive juggernaut from the Bay. Even with the absence of Durant, the Warriors are a whopping 31-1, so that doesn’t seem to have any impact on them. Although Kyle Lowry has been playing above average and there is no doubt Kawhi Leonard will rise to the occasion, the Warriors simply outmatch Toronto. With home court advantage and Drake chirping the Warriors, it is likely that the Raptors could steal two. Warriors in 6.