The Toronto Raptors will be playing in their first-ever NBA Finals beginning on Thursday, and they will have their work cut out for them. Toronto will be facing the Golden State Warriors who will be looking to win their third straight NBA Championship. The Raptors will have the advantage of hosting the first two games on their home floor, but the Warriors can win anywhere.
Golden State cruised through the Western Conference Finals with a four-game sweep over the Portland Trail Blazers. Rust could be a bit of a concern as the Warriors will have a 10-day layoff between games. Toronto comes into this game having won four straight to close out the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Raptors will have a ton of momentum, but the Warriors are -1.0 point favorites in Game 1 on Thursday night.
Warriors Without Durant, Cousins
The Golden State Warriors will begin this series without the services of Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins. Golden State expects Cousins to return at some point in this series, but Durant is more of a question mark. Kevon Looney has stepped up and is averaging 7.5 points per game in the playoffs, and Andre Iguodala has chipped in with 10.1 a night. Depth is a strength of the Warriors and has led them to 117.3 points per game in the postseason.
Stephen Curry and Draymond Green have stepped up their play as well and will be a big matchup problem for the Raptors. Curry averaged 36.5 points per game in the Portland series and is capable of lighting it up every night. All Draymond Green did was record back-to-back triple-doubles in Games 3 and 4 of the Western Conference Finals, and he has been a great playmaker for the Warriors.
Leonard Continues to Amaze For Toronto
Kawhi Leonard was already considered a superstar by most people, but he has been playing at an even higher level in these playoffs. Leonard is averaging more than 31 points and eight rebounds per game for the Raptors and has been winning games on his own for the most part. The Raptors will look to lean on Leonard’s NBA Finals experience, but the former Finals MVP might be running out of gas.
Toronto is still looking for more scoring from the rest of their roster, but they have some talented options. Pascal Siakam is averaging 18.7 points per game during the playoffs, and Kyle Lowry leads the offense with 6.4 assists. Fred VanVleet and Norman Powell are both capable of big scoring nights off the bench as well. Toronto must match the bench scoring from Golden State to win this game.
Golden State Cruises in Game 1
Winning the Eastern Conference is a great step for this Toronto team, but things will get more difficult now. The Warriors will just keep throwing talented players at the Raptors, and Toronto just doesn’t have the depth to match up. Kawhi Leonard will do all he can, but he won’t be able to win this one alone. Bet the Golden State Warriors -1.0 over the Toronto Raptors in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
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