The Finals are just around the corner, so we can be just excited for what is about to come, as we finally get to see another team coming for the throne from the East. The Raptors, who came in the league as an expansion team in the 90s, made the Finals for the first time in franchise history, and Kawhi Leonard made history there in only 8 months.
The Golden State Warriors and the Toronto Raptors had the same record seven seasons ago, 23-43, in the lockout season, and now they are facing each other in the Finals. Even though the Warriors are making their 5th straight appearance, winning three of them and having a chance to make a historical three-peat, they can be beaten, especially if Durant misses two or three games. It will be interesting to see if the fatigue will play a role in Kawhi’s game, as he leads the postseason in total minutes played, with 696. Not only he leads them in minutes played, but he has the most points scored, with 561, free-throws made, 133, and steals, 28, per Crazy Stats.
That is a nice feature to accomplish, as there were a lot of people that didn’t expect him to play at this high level… the highest of them all at this point. If his body can endure all that effort in a very hard and intense series against the former champions, we can have a more evenly match-up than everyone thinks it will be. As for the Warriors, it’s not yet sure how many games Durant will sit out with his injury, and I think that the coaching staff and the managers know exactly how much time he will miss, even though, since he got injured in Game 5 against the Rockets, they kept ruling him out only one game to another. He is currently listed as day-to-day, but as Steve Kerr said, he didn’t have a practice with the team since the incident, so he is not willing to throw him in a Finals game without practice.
The situation is delicate for now for the Warriors, even if they proved that they can reach the ultimate stage without one of their best players, Kawhi Leonard is really a different type of a beast, both offensively and defensively, so it can backtrack on them. DeMarcus Cousins, who is also listed as questionable for Game 1, will probably play for a few minutes if the series extend to a minimum of six games, but for the moment, Kerr said that he wants to continue with the rotation that has the momentum and won games until now. It will be interesting to see how the first two games will unfold, and I strongly believe that the Raptors can protect their home court, at least for the first two games.
Steve Kerr says they haven't decided if DeMarcus Cousins will be active in Game 1 but would "throw him out there" if it were the regular season. pic.twitter.com/1pKBP1a95n
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) May 29, 2019