The NBA Finals begin tonight at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto as the Raptors host the Golden State Warriors for Game 1. I polled some of our staff members for the last time this season to see how the series going and who will win the 2019 NBA Championship.
Benjamin Bornstein: Warriors over Raptors in 5. Even without Durant, the Warriors are just too good. And if he does come back in time to play, it could get ugly. Kawhi Leonard can’t carry this team alone. Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam have to be great this series and I don’t think they can do that.
Michael De Leon: Warriors in 5. I’ve been going back and forth between five and six with my prediction since the Raptors won. It came down to five for me because even without Durant and Cousins, the Warriors haven’t really been challenged in these playoffs. Even in a few games against Portland, they started games off rough just to come storming back.
Golden State is just a well-balanced team, while the Raptors really rely heavily on Leonard’s heroics. Siakam has played well for a few games and the same can be said for Lowry, but their three best players have rarely all played well. After going six with Milwaukee, keeping up with Golden State’s pace and then being run into their defense is probably going to be too big a challenge. I’ve got Toronto winning one game at home in a gentleman’s sweep.
Ryan Magdziarz: Warriors in 5. No KD in the finals. The best player in the league isn’t needed to win a championship. Kawhi’s back finally gets too tired.
Mackenzie Rivers: Warriors over Toronto in 6. Steph Curry has had great success against Kyle Lowry in his career. He has his highest points per game and assists per game vs. the Raptors than vs. any other team. If the Raptors decide to employ Kawhi to guard Steph that will spread him too thin to keep up the scoring production they need from him on the other end.