Following 2 games, it’s clear to see why the Warriors and the Raptors didn’t need seven games to clinch a finals berth. For the Warriors, they are looking to be the first team to three-peat since the Lakers back in the early 2000s. Toronto hopes its first title birth should prove to be a victorious one.
Coming off a historic 26-3 run against the Bucks to secure a trip to the city’s first NBA Finals, the Raptors and Kawhi are ready to make history by beating one of the most dominant teams in NBA history. This run came when they were down by 15 points in the third quarter before winning 100-94 against the best regular season team in basketball.
Kawhi Leonard has been impressing fans, critics, and players alike with his dominant 31.2-3.8-8.8 stat line these playoffs. Ice has been running in his veins, and in his first year, Kawhi has done exactly for Toronto what they hoped to do, and the biggest offseason gamble has absolutely paid off. Kawhi is the perfect guy for the job of dethroning the Warriors since his fall from grace in Game 1 of the 2017 WCF. In 23 minutes, Leonard had 26 points and eight boards in 23 minutes before Zaza Pachulia happened. Zaza stuck his foot in Kawhi’s landing spot and sparked a 25-point comeback from the Warriors, and an eventual Finals berth. Now’s the time to exact revenge by robbing the Warriors of a three-peat with Durant and Klay’s last year of their contracts. This along with the push for Marc Gasol has helped tipped this team over the edge.
If the Raptors are hoping to beat the Warriors, it’s going to be a team effort. Ibaka off the bench with VanVleet need to keep up their production and outdo the Warriors bench (which is totally doable). Danny Green will have to regain his shot and they’ll have to continue to play their best defense of the year. In order to win this series though, in the Klaw we trust.
Golden State Warriors
Even though we all saw this coming, it should be noted to what extent the Warriors have been dominant since Durant has been injured. Steph Curry reminded everyone who’s team it is in the Blazers series. Curry averaged 36.5 PPG and hit 6+ 3’s in each game.
A lot of people do understand that Boogie Cousins and KD will impact this series but how will it go? Will Durant come into a series maybe a little banged up if the Warriors feel that they need it? Will Boogie come even up the matchup at center where the Raptors have a clear advantage at the moment? How many minutes will each star play? All these questions can drastically impact this series and how it ends.
The Warriors lead a ton of categories still in these playoffs including points per game, shooting percentage, and free throw percentage. This team is still the team to beat and nothing has changed for the past 4 years. They could not have Durant or Boogie and still win this series.
If KD doesn’t play until game 3 or 4, the Raptors have a great chance of winning this series. I feel that he can be back for game 3 and thus making the Warriors the team to beat. I hope I’m wrong, but it’s hard to choose against the Warriors nowadays.
Winner: Golden State Warriors