NBA Finals 2019: Kawhi vs Curry


Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Stephen Curry takes a shot in a game against the Wizards. Curry looks to keep up his great postseason play and lead the Warriors to a third straight title.

Matt Shea, Opinion Editor

The pinnacle of the NBA season has finally dawned upon us: the NBA Finals. In an intriguing matchup, the Golden State Warriors will face off against the Toronto raptors. For the Warriors, reaching the Finals has become a normal result of a dominating season. Meanwhile the Raptors, lead by Kawhi Leonard, find themselves in the Finals for the first time in franchise history. As the series approaches, many are wondering if history will favor the newcomers or simply repeat itself with another Warriors victory.

Despite the chaos that has ensued in this year’s NBA playoffs, it is to no one’s surprise that the Warriors emerged as Western Conference Champs. Through lights out shooting, defensive resiliency and depth, the Warriors make an astonishing fifth straight championship appearance. After losing Kevin Durant in the second round, the Warriors reminded the world of their talent and depth with key performances from their bench and core players that would lift them and see an eventual sweep of the Trailblazers in the Western Conference Final. Stephen Curry has lead the way on the offensive end, averaging 27.3 points per game, while on the defensive end Draymond Green has stepped up tremendously. Green currently leads the team in rebounds (9.9 per game), blocks (1.7 per game) and even assists (8.2 per game). Performances like these will be key for the Warriors in the finals if they look to continue their Durant-less success against the Raptors.

Without LeBron in the playoffs for the first time in over a decade, the Eastern Conference was left wide open; however, it didn’t take long for a new dominant force to emerge. Kawhi Leonard, arguably the most impressive player in this year’s postseason, has lead the Raptors through adversity to their first ever NBA Finals appearance in just his first year with the team. After the first three rounds of the playoffs Leonard leads the Raptors in points (31.2 per game), rebounds (8.8 per game) and steals (1.6 per game). The battle-tested squad from the North showed their grit and determination as they ousted the 76ers in Game 7 of the second round and won four straight against the Bucks after initially going down 2-0 in the series. The Raptors will rely heavily on Leonard in the finals but will need consistency from all their top players if they expect any success against a talent driven Warriors squad.

As the teams are set to clash, prepare for a battle on both ends of the floor. While both teams surely have their offensive weapons, it has been tremendous defensive efforts that have guided each team this far in the playoffs. With two powerhouses colliding, this should be a tightly contested series throughout.

Predicted winner: Warriors in six

Predicted Finals MVP: Stephen Curry