The 2019 NBA Finals features Kawhi Leonard and the Eastern Conference Champion Toronto Raptors against Stephen Curry and the 5 time defending Western Conference Champion Golden State Warriors. Here is my preview and prediction for the final NBA series of the season.
#2 Toronto Raptors @ #1 Golden State Warriors (-300)
The Raptors are making their first Finals appearance in franchise history under first year head coach Nick Nurse. Meanwhile, the Warriors are appearing in their fifth consecutive Finals and looking to win their fourth title in five years. The only man preventing this series from being an absolute blowout is Kawhi Leonard, who is a former Finals MVP and one of the only Raptors with Finals experience. Kawhi has been lights out this postseason and has singlehandedly carried the Raptors to the Eastern Conference Finals. However, the Raptors bench has finally started to chip in as well. Fred Van Vleet shot 82% from three point range in the final four games of the Eastern Conference Finals. Vanvleet, Lowry, and Siakim will have to take some of the burden off of Kawhi if Toronto wants a chance to win this series.
Steve Kerr and the Warriors have been in this position before, but the uncertainty surrounding Kevin Durant’s injury has made things more interesting for Golden State. Durant had been on fire this postseason before his injury, but the Warriors are also an incredible 30-1 in their last 31 games without Kevin Durant. Stephen Curry and Draymond Green stepped up huge in the four game sweep of Portland in the Western Conference Finals, reminding everyone that these Warriors were still champions before Kevin Durant joined the team. The Warriors biggest challenge will be stopping Kawhi, and they will likely have to throw multiple bodies at him in order to wear him down. The Raptors did a great job defensively against Giannis and the Bucks, but face a much bigger challenge on defense against the Warriors. I think the combination of Steph, Klay, and Draymond will be too much for Toronto to handle, and if Durant and/or Cousins returns during the series then forget about it. Warriors win the series in 6 games, and Steph Curry wins Finals MVP.
Let me know your predictions in the comments down below.