I know the ratings do not show it, but I think this has been the most exciting NBA playoffs in recent memory.
Sure, the Golden State Warriors have been the big favorites to win their fourth title in five seasons (and three-peat in the process), but at least the season has been interesting from start to finish. Kawhi Leonard being traded to the Toronto Raptors in a BIG gamble that paid off with a spot in the NBA Finals. Giannis Antetokounmpo, aka “The Greek Freak”, leading the Milwaukee Bucks to the league’s best record, and may win an MVP award in the process.
Oh, and that LeBron James fellow heading to the Los Angeles Lakers last offseason (you think he regrets that move now?).
I think this is going to be one of the most competitive Finals in recent memory since the then LeBron-led Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Warriors in 2017 while staging an incredible comeback from a 3-1 series deficit.
Toronto’s length and depth vs. Golden State’s firepower. Kawhi vs. Stephen Curry/Klay Thompson/Draymond Green. Toronto with the home court advantage. Will Kevin Durant play or no?
As much as I WANT to pick Toronto, I can’t bring myself to do so. I just can’t.
Yes, I know Toronto can defend. I know that Marc Gasol and Kawhi are both former Defensive Players of the Year. Kyle Lowry, Danny Green and Serge Ibaka are great defenders as well.
I also know that Toronto’s bench is far superior to Golden State’s. You think the Raptors are going to fear Kevin Looney, Quinn Cook, and an old Shaun Livingston coming off the bench?
But it’s just something about the Warriors. The mystique of winning three of the last four championships. The sight of Curry and Thompson draining 3s from al over the floor. That beautiful ball movement.
So until the Golden State dragon is slayed, I can’t pick against it.
Warriors in six.