Road to the NBA Finals: Will It Be a Golden Journey or a Jurassic Slaughter?


Is it a tossup or will the Warriors take it in six, as our columnist seems to think?

This year’s NBA Playoffs had some intriguing matchups in the buildup to the 2019 NBA Finals. The Denver Nuggets showed that their young core has a lot of potential. The Orlando Magic showed that their future may be bright as well. And we may have seen the complete dissolution of a fractured Boston Celtics squad. But now we are at that time again, and the NBA Finals are upon us. Let’s look into the two teams that have beaten the odds and made it to basketball’s biggest stage.

Golden State…I should not be surprised. The Warriors got even better with the pick up of all-star center, Demarcus Cousins (even if he did not play for half of the season due to an ACL Injury). Their regular season record was a solid 57-25, and they shut up all of the haters spewing about how they wouldn’t make it back to the finals for a potential chance of a three-peat. They are now in a position similar to the 2013-14 Miami Heat season – and the 1988-89 Los Angeles Lakers – where they have a chance for a three-peat: do not blow it. They made it past Patrick Beverly and the Los Angeles Clippers (minus losing their center, Boogie Cousins, in the second game of the series), the Beard and Chris Paul in Houston (finishing them off without Kevin Durant, mind you), and finally they took down Dame Lillard and CJ McCollum and the Portland Trail Blazers in sweeping fashion. They have the chance to be mentioned in the same sentence as Bill Russel’s Celtics of the ’60s, Michael Jordan’s 1996-98 Chicago Bulls, and Kobe and Shaq’s 2000-02 Lakers. For one thing, if they get their cards right, they can get their starting SF in Durant back in time during the series – which can help them against guarding The Klaw.

The Eastern Conference Champions are the Toronto Raptors. Their blockbuster trade for star Kawhi Leonard seems to have paid off up until this series. Kyle Lowry was ecstatic at the thought that he would not be eliminated by Lebron for the umpteenth season in a row. The fans rejoiced at Jurassic Park with the vision that they will be playing in their first NBA Finals. The wait that soon began after VC couldn’t take them this far, has superficially paid off. They may have lost Demar DeRozan to San Antonio, but at this point in time, it was worth the sacrifice. All of the NBA’s fanbases – aside from Golden State – are behind them, this is their chance. This is their chance to bring the first Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy to Canada. This is their chance to finally redeem their fans’ loyalty, as well as the past couple of years when they have gotten close to the chance but have had it taken away. This is their chance, and they better not blow it. Kawhi may have led them to a finals appearance, but keep in mind that as of this series, he is still considered a rental.

Now that we have watched both teams’ journeys to the finals, we wonder who will come out on top. For me, the outcome depends on whether Toronto’s bench continues to step up and whether Kevin Durant makes it back to the Warriors during the series. In the regular season, these teams matched up twice and the Raptors took both of those games. While it may not matter much now, we have to remember that Toronto has beaten the Warriors. Overall, I’m going with the Warriors in six games. If the Splash Brothers show up in the series and if KD gets back, Kawhi and the Raptors can do only so much to stop the Warrior Dynasty.

A disclaimer: Depending on when this edition of the newspaper is published, this series might be over. Will my prediction be right or wrong? Will the Warriors sweep or will Kawhi and the Raptors bring a Larry O’Brien Trophy back to the North? Will Drake pull some more crazy antics and try to throw Golden State off of their game? Anything can happen in today’s NBA.