Who will win the NBA Finals: Warriors or Raptors? | The Tylt
Who will win the NBA Finals: Warriors or Raptors?
It's huge for Toronto to make their first NBA Finals. Really, congratulations. But that's the only trophy they're getting this postseason.
The Raptors navigated a LeBron James–less Eastern Conference, but now they're running into a juggernaut that has made it to five straight finals, winning three of the last four. The Warriors might be missing Kevin Durant, and DeMarcus Cousins might not be at full strength, but their super core of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green have won a championship on their own. They have the best, even without the elite scoring touch of Durant, and are averaging the most points per game with the highest offensive rating in the postseason.
No one is giving Toronto a chance against Golden State, but that's predictable. But we know there is nothing predictable in sports. The Raptors have a chance to shock the world, and they are well equipped to do so.
They have a second-best team in terms of defensive rating and points against per game. Defense-wins championships gives Toronto the system to corral the Warriors, especially if they don't have Kevin Durant. Here is Mike Prada of SB Nation with more:
The Warriors have never faced a defense like Toronto’s, at least not since Durant joined in 2017. The Raptors are stocked with two former Defensive Players of the Year (Leonard, Marc Gasol), two other all-defense stalwarts (Danny Green, Serge Ibaka), two bulldog point guards at the point of attack (Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet), and a new-age switch-everything speed demon (Pascal Siakam). This group will not fall for the Warriors’ dizzying passing movement the way Portland and Houston did...
Without Durant, Golden State’s offense thrives by creating chaotic situations that confuse opponents used to playing by a series of rigid rules. That works against most teams and even some great defenses, but it won’t work as easily against a Raptors unit that is intelligent and talented enough to thrive when the game goes off script.