Warriors Looking to Cement a Dynasty in The Finals
It took four straight wins, but the Toronto Raptors were able to claw their way back from a 0-2 deficit against the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals. They’ve reached their first-ever NBA Finals after the heroic comeback against a team that had not lost four straight all season. Now they get to go up against one of the best squads of all time in the legendary Golden State Warriors. The Warriors are seeking their third consecutive NBA championship. Golden State opened as 1.5-point favorites, but their has been heavy betting action on Canada’s team. The line has now reversed.
TV: 9 p.m. ET, ABC, Sportsnet One (Toronto) LINE: Raptors -1.5; O/U: 213.
Warriors’ small forward Kevin Durant will not return to the hardwood for Game 1 of the Finals due to a calf injury. That hasn’t been a hindrance to this ultra-talented group so far. It has just allowed Steph Curry to take back leadership of the team, as should be. The Warriors have won five straight games without Durant and six straight overall. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson have stepped up when it matters. The Raptors are hoping Kawhi Leonard continues his playoff dominance into the NBA Finals. Leonard is averaging over 30 points per game in the postseason. He has been outstanding by 50.7% shooting from the floor. Toronto will also the rest of the cast of Pascal Siakam, Kyle Lowry and Marc Gasol to step up for them to have success.
This, That, and a Dart Throw
With Durant having been ruled out of Game 1 with a calf injury the Warriors are ready for action in the of the best-of-seven series. Especially with center DeMarcus Cousins declared ready for action. Toronto has home-court advantage for the Finals due to a better regular-season record than Golden State. Winning the opening two games would greatly improve the club's chances of winning the series.
The Warriors' Cousins suffered his quadriceps injury on April 15 in Game 2 of the first-round series against the Los Angeles Clippers. He has decalred himself and said Wednesday, "I feel good," Cousins said. "My quad is coming along. It's healed for the most part. Still whipping things into the shape, building the muscle endurance needed to play at a high level. Everything is coming along well." Point guard Stephen Curry is picking up the scoring slack with Durant sidelined. He has scored 30 or more points in five straight playoff games and six of the past seven. Klay Thompson has just one 30-point outing in 16 playoff contests this postseason. Draymond Green had back-to-back triple-doubles to wrap up the Western Conference finals against the Portland Trail Blazers. He has four, and counting, during the playoffs.
The Raptors' Leonard is averaging 31.2 points and 8.8 rebounds in the postseason. He is again back in the discussion as perhaps the best player in the NBA. Especially after carrying Toronto to the Finals on his back. Leonard is slated to become a free agent in July so this could be the Raptors' one-and-only Finals opportunity with him on the roster. He has mentioned he is open to staying with the Raptors. The Raptors won both regular-season meetings. They won 131-128 in overtime at Toronto on Nov. 29th and 113-93 on Dec. 12th at Oakland, Calif.
The Dart Throw: Warriors 110, Raptors 106
NBA Finals Betting Odds & Trends
Golden State Warriors
|Golden State is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games|
|The total has gone OVER in 6 of Golden State's last 9 games|
|Golden State is 6-2 SU in its last 8 games on the road|
|The total has gone OVER in 5 of Golden State's last 6 games on the road|
|Golden State is 15-7-1 ATS in its last 23 games when playing Toronto|
|Golden State is 2-5-1 ATS in its last 8 games when playing Toronto|
|Golden State is 8-2 SU in its last 10 games when playing Toronto|
|The total has gone OVER in 6 of Golden State's last 8 games when playing Toronto|
|Golden State is 2-3-1 ATS in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Toronto|
|Golden State is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Toronto|
|The total has gone OVER in 4 of Golden State's last 5 games when playing on the road against Toronto|
|Toronto is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games|
|Toronto is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games|
|The total has gone UNDER in 13 of Toronto's last 19 games|
|Toronto is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games at home|
|Toronto is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home|
|Toronto is 7-15-1 ATS in its last 23 games when playing Golden State|
|Toronto is 2-8 SU in its last 10 games when playing Golden State|
|The total has gone OVER in 6 of Toronto's last 8 games when playing Golden State|
|Toronto is 4-7-1 ATS in its last 12 games when playing at home against Golden State|
|Toronto is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Golden State|
|The total has gone OVER in 4 of Toronto's last 5 games when playing at home against Golden State|