Toronto Raptors v Golden State Warriors – Scotiabank Arena at 2:00 GMT+1
The NBA Finals are here. From the West, the Golden State Warriors are back in the championship round for the fifth straight season and looking to secure their third consecutive victory. From the East, the Raptors are making an appearance in the finals for the first time ever in franchise history. The Warriors will finally face a new challenger after years of going up against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Toronto Raptors were on fire this season. Although they finished 2nd behind the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference, they managed to dominate them in 6 games after edging past the Philadelphia 76ers in the semi-finals. Many doubted Toronto’s ability to get past the Bucks in the conference finals especially after dipping the first two games on the road. However, despite their 2-0 deficit, the Raptors were able to hold them off and come out victorious in four straight matches to secure their spot in their first NBA Finals.
Meanwhile, the Golden State Warriors will be heading into their fifth NBA Finals as the favourites to win the NBA title for the third consecutive time; however, they will have to do it without Cousins and Durant, who are ruled out of the Game 1 in the Raptors’ home court. Even though the Warriors are without Durant and Cousins, they were able to sweep past the Trail Blazers in the Western Conference finals and guarantee a spot in the Finals. Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green have definitely stepped up in the wake of their injury concerns, with all three having massive roles against the Houston Rockets and Portland.
– Warriors forward Kevin Durant and centre DeMarcus Cousins will remain unavailable due to a strained right calf and torn left quadriceps muscle respectively.
PROBABLE STARTING V
Raptors: Kawhi Leonard, Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol, Kyle Lowry, Danny Green
Warriors: Andrew Iguodala, Draymond Green, Andrew Bogut, Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry
Kawhi Leonard took the Raptors to new heights this season, leading Toronto to their first ever NBA finals and his statistics match this fact. He has been brilliant, especially during their games against the Bucks. With an average of 29.8 points, 4.3 assists as well as 9.5 rebounds per game, he will definitely put another stunning performance on Friday.
Stephen Curry was a bit of a slow out in the playoffs but he definitely came through in the absence of Kevin Durant and took the load of scoring to secure the Warriors’ victory in the Western Conference. He averages on 36.5 points against the Blazers, claiming 8.3 rebounds while also dishing out 7.3 assists per game.
Raptors to win at 1.820
Recommendation: Over 213.5 at 1.960
A Raptors’ victory is on the cards, taking a 1-0 lead in the finals series.
Kevin Durant’s absence doesn’t seem to have a great effect for the Warriors as they even manage to get past the Blazers in the conference finals. However, the Toronto Raptors are a whole new side to come up against. Without Durant as well as the advantage of playing at home, the Raptors have a great opportunity to make this game end in their favour.
MATCH BETTING ODDS
*Prices are correct at the time of writing.
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