NBA Finals Predictions

-edited

A couple thoughts as we head into the Finals this Thursday....

So much of what happens in this NBA Finals will be dependent on the health of the Warriors. If Kevin Durant and Demarcus Cousins are available (it sounds like neither will be for at least Game 1), it changes everything.

For one, it presents more defensive issues for the Raptors. If KD doesn't play, you have the option of sticking Kawhi Leonard on Stephen Curry (at least partially). With a healthy Durant, I think it becomes obvious that Leonard matches up with him for the majority of the series.

Aside from the health of their opponent, Toronto will also need to see better shooting performances from their role guys - Danny Green, Fred Van Vleet and Kyle Lowry. Kawhi has been the best player in the league in the postseason so I think we can expect him to continue producing.

Pace will be another determining factor here. Virtually no team can beat GSW at their own game - running the floor and scoring a lot. If Toronto can slow down the pace and keep the Warriors under, say, 100 points per game, it greatly improves their odds of winning at least a game or two.

The Blazers were in every game of the Western finals and got swept because they couldn't keep up with the Warriors' scoring output - they averaged 115 per game in the series.

So, here's my prediction: Warrior in six. I reserve the right to adjust this to Warriors in five if they get KD/Boogie back, but I see Toronto playing well at home (their fans might be second to only Oakland) and winning at least one of the first two with KD unlikely to make the trip.

Comments (2)
Brian
Brian

Very nice write up Pete! I've heard folks start comparing Kawhi Leonard to MJ but I have not watched him play yet, maybe during the finals.