NBA Finals Preview


Kawhi Leonard and the Eastern Conference Champion Raptors take on Steph Curry and the Western Conference Champion Warriors

Chris Urban, Editor

Winner of the last two NBA finals, the Golden Sate Warriors are facing another country in the finals for the first time, the Toronto Raptors. The Warriors led by Stephen Curry went 57-25 (#1 in the western conference) and the Kawhi (and Drake) led Raptors went 58-24 (#2 in the eastern conference). For the first time in the Warriors dynastic four year run, they will not start out the series at home as Toronto had one more regular season win.

Star center Demarcus Cousins in questionable for game one, and superstar wing Kevin Durant will not play game one. Season changing injuries for any team, yet, it does not affect the Warriors success. With them out, Steph Curry is putting up more shots and the Warriors play a faster paced small ball style like they did in 2015 and 2016. Shooting is the ultimate necessity in order to win an NBA championship, and the Warriors certainly have that. It will take 20-25+ points from both Curry and Thompson individually for them to take care of the Raptors. Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala will be a ferocious presence on defense that will force the Raptors out of the paint.

On the other hand, the Toronto Raptors are about as healthy as can be headed into an NBA final. With a starting five consisted of Kyle Lowry, Kawhi Leonard, Paschal Siakam, Serge Ibaka, and Marc Gasol, the Raptors can certainly contend with the Warriors. Launching a more balanced attack and more length, the Raptors can give the shooters of the Warriors trouble. The ultimate success (or fate) of the Raptors will lie in the hands of Kawhi Leonard who has arguably put together one of the best playoff performances ever (31.2 pts, 8.8 reb, 3.8 ast.) Kawhi is going to have to go nearly full LeBron James mode in order for the Raptors to feel comfortable with the Warriors.

If the splash brothers Steph Curry and Klay Thompson get hot from three point land, this series could be over in four games. Who is Kawhi going to guard? What about Draymond Green? Can VanVleet stay hot in the finals? When will Kevin Durant return for the Warriors? These are some of the most intriguing questions that will be answered starting tonight. Its fair to say most of the United States will be rooting for another country in this one…