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NBA Finals 2019: Warriors vs Raptors

The 2019 NBA finals between Warriors and Raptors will have a lot of unpredictability and action. Let's check out the strength and weakness of both teams.

Last updated: 31.05.2019
Warriors vs Raptors NBA Finals 2019 | Sports Social Blog

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It has been a tough journey for both the finalists of the NBA finals but nothing compares to what comes next. Even though it is Golden State’s 5th straight finals appearance, it doesn’t change the fact that they’ve had a run to protect their title as the reigning champions.  With Demarcus Cousins out of the line-up due to a torn quad during the first-round series against the Los Angeles Clippers and Kevin Durant going down during the western conference semi-finals against the Houston Rockets with a calf injury, the Warriors have had a load on offense with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson picking up the pieces. Draymond Green has been an excellent asset on the defensive side, setting the tone for other players as well but not so much on the offense though. Green may not be a great scorer but he makes up for it with his court vision and passing. He hits the boards hard, coming up with offensive rebound, poking loose balls and creating offensive opportunities for his teammates. Andre Iguodala has been consistent throughout the playoffs with his playmaking, rotating the ball with ease and creating open shots for outside shooters.

On the other hand, the Toronto Raptors, a wild card if you will are into the finals for the first time in franchise history. Nobody at the start of the season would’ve thought that the Raptors would make it to the finals. Boston, Milwaukee or even the 76ers would’ve been my guess but not the Raptors. Apart from that, Toronto has shown a lot of strength and resilience with their newly formed line-up adding Danny Green, Mark Gasol and their star player Kawhi Leonard. Leonard has led the way throughout the playoffs and the team has followed through with Kyle Lowry contributing almost a playoff high in points and assists. Almost a slow start in the first-round, Lowry turned that back around pretty fast scoring in bunches. Marc Gasol has been another great contributor to the team. His post-presence creating space for outside shooters along with his nifty passing skills, Gasol has always been credited as one of the greatest passing big men and it is evident during these playoffs. Another thing is Gasol’s 3 point shooting. He has been a huge threat in the past two rounds and I would not be surprised seeing Gasol spread the floor against the Warriors as well. Serge Ibaka seems as if he has been playing like the lockdown defender that he is, swatting balls left and right, protecting the paint. However, I could see a hidden gem in the Raptors Pascal Siakam. He has been relentless on the court, both on the offensive and defensive side and could play a huge role in the finals.

If someone can still make it to the finals without not one but two of its star players, it is Stephen Curry. Curry has been unconscious since Durant went down. It seemed as if the offensive load was shared between Curry, Durant and Thompson but ever since Durant’s injury, Curry has literally been on fire from almost everywhere on the court, be it inside or out. Thompson’s shooting has been great both from the 3 and mid-range, knocking down some really difficult mid-range jumpers with defense all over him. But is that enough to go against the strong line-up of the Raptors?


The Raptors will have a subsequent edge in the paint with Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka pairing up inside. And the absence of Demarcus Cousins will only make it tougher for the Warriors to protect the paint. Kevon Looney and Jordan Bell have gotten the job done so far at Center but none of them would be enough against the Spaniard and his skillset. If anyone does stand a chance to only slow down Gasol, it’s the Warriors Center Andrew Bogut. Green and Ibaka’s match-up would be a thing to see as to where Green lacks in height and reach, he makes up for it in tenacity.

It is without a doubt that the Warriors front-court holds the key to change the game around. Even though Danny Green is a good defender, Klay is just better at offense. I can only see Klay being slowed down a little but not locked-up, as he’s still going to get shots off and make them with ease. On the other hand, the match-up between Kyle Lowry and Stephen Curry can turn out any way possible. It may be possible for Lowry to shut Curry down for a game but not for long. Curry has a habit of bursting out late in quarters, leaving the defenders helpless. One thing that we might get to see would be Kawhi defending Curry due to his ball-handling, agility and shooting. In the Raptors line-up, Kawhi is the best defender out of them all and I would not be surprised to see Kawhi smothering Curry.

Another problem I see, which can turn out to be really big for the Warriors is matching up against Kawhi Leonard. Kevin Durant would’ve been a great fit defending Kawhi with his long arms and reach but since Durant is out of the Line-up Andre Iguodala would be the top next pick. Iguodala has been an excellent defender throughout his career and with his Veteran mindset; he may be able to slow Kawhi down. Draymond Green would be someone else who could probably shut Kawhi down but those chances seem pretty slim. Some reports have suggested that the Warriors star Center Demarcus Cousins may make an appearance in the finals and is available for Game 1 but nothing is conclusive as of now. Although the same cannot be said about Kevin Durant as he seems out of the Playoffs indefinitely.

The 2019 NBA finals are going to pack more than a punch, with a lot of unpredictability and loads of action. Let’s see what’s in store for us in these playoffs, will the Warriors commence a repeat or will the Raptors win their first NBA title. A lot of it depends on how Game 1 goes, setting the tone for the rest of the series.

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