NBA Finals Team Preview Golden State Warriors

The Golden State Warriors have reached the NBA Finals for the fifth time in as many years. Check out their odds and storylines going into the penultimate series against the Toronto Raptors.

2018-2019 Regular Season Performance

The Golden State Warriors went into the 2018-2019 season with a rejuvenated outlook after winning their second consecutive NBA Championship. Buoyed by the performance of now two-time Finals MVP Kevin Durant, the Warriors looked to add to their forces for a three-peat.

Significant Transactions

  • 6 July 2018 - Signed C DeMarcus Cousins as a free agent.
  • 7 July 2018 - Signed F Kevin Durant as a free agent.
  • 12 October 2018 - Converted Alfonzo McKinnie from a two-way contract to a regular contract.

The Warriors suffered some early season injuries and setbacks to their play. For the majority of the season, they spent time outside of the number one seed. Their performance improved after the reintroduction of Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins - earning them the first seed in the Western Conference.

2019 NBA Playoffs Performance

The Golden State Warriors were able to fight their way back to the top of the Western Conference. Their ranking matched them with the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round.

First-Round vs Los Angeles Clippers - Won 4-2

Top Performers:

F Kevin Durant - 35.0 PPG | 5.3 RPG | 5.3 APG | .567 FG%

G Stephen Curry - 24.7 PPG | 6.7 RPG | 5.2 APG | .500 FG%

F Draymond Green - 12.0 PPG | 7.8 RPG | 7.8 APG | 1.8 BPG

The Warriors faced one of their most difficult tests when they took on the Los Angeles Clippers. Their versatile attack and defense took the Warriors to six games, as they were led by Lou Williams, Montrezl Harrell, and Patrick Beverly. The incredible scoring ability of Kevin Durant was too much for the Clippers though, as he led the series with 35.0 PPG to go along with a 50-point close-out effort.

Second-Round vs Houston Rockets - Won 4-2

Top Performers:

F Kevin Durant - 33.2 PPG | 5.0 RPG | 4.4 APG | .458 FG%

G Stephen Curry - 23.8 PPG | 4.7 RPG | 5.0 APG | .403 FG%

G Klay Thompson - 19.2 PPG | 5.0 RPG | .408 3P% | 2.2 SPG

The Western Conference Second-Round saw the Golden State Warriors match up with the Houston Rockets. Their rivals of the last three post-seasons, the Rockets were primed to finally take revenge against the Dubs. Despite the hot-shooting of the Houston Rockets, their leaky defense couldn't keep up, as Kevin Durant remained unstoppable until his injury.

Western Conference Finals vs Portland Trail Blazers - Won 4-0

 

 

Top Performers:

G Stephen Curry - 36.5 PPG | 8.3 RPG | 7.3 APG | .469 FG%

G Klay Thompson - 21.5 PPG | 1.8 SPG | 1.3 BPG | .379 FG%

F Draymond Green - 16.5 PPG | 11.8 RPG | 8.8 APG | 2.3 SPG | 2.8 BPG

While the storyline of the Curry brothers facing off in a heated exchange took off, the truth of the matter is that the Blazers were out-matched. While the Blazers held at least a ten-point lead in each match, they lacked the composure to finish the job as Stephen Curry averaged 36.5 points per game to complete the sweep.

How Will Durant and Cousins Impact the Warriors?

Kevin Durant is still not approved for on-court activities and is certain to miss Game 1 of the NBA Finals due to a calf injury. While Steve Kerr is even undecided on Durant's travel status, DeMarcus Cousins (torn quad) will be listed as questionable for Game 1.

The inclusion of Cousins could be huge for the Golden State Warriors. He is a capable scoring big man whether in the starting lineup or off the bench that could swing the balance in their favour, with a fourth star on the court.

Durant's injury timetable is certainly the most curious thing going into this series. Are the Warriors just playing it safe or is the injury significant enough to hold Durant out of the series entirely. His inclusion will massively affect the Warriors going forward.

Will This Series End the Dynasty?

The Golden State Warriors have been a player in the last five NBA Finals, almost unheard of in modern basketball across leagues and competitions. The scariest part is that the upcoming free agent status of Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant is weighing heavily on both the organization and its athletes.

 

 

Klay Thompson was openly critical of his lack of recognition for All-NBA status while Kevin Durant's whereabouts next season are seemingly limitless. While the dynasty that they've created with the Golden State Warriors is not soon to be matched, their individual accomplishments and accolades have suffered due to the nature of the teams' composition.

It seems definite that the Warriors will only be able to hold on to one of these stars. That's not including DeMarcus Cousins whose one-year mid-level exception contract is also coming up. Their performances in this playoffs may not just be their last as Warriors, but decide the fate of this Warrior's legacy forever.

Are These Raptors the Toughest Opponents They've Ever Faced?

This may be one of the most controversial opinions across NBA circles, but these Toronto Raptors are likely the greatest challenge that the Warriors have ever faced. While they won't face a player greater than the ability of LeBron James in his prime, the composition of the Raptors is deeper than anything they've faced.

The Raptors starting lineup touts five All-Defense Team-capable players - Lowry, Green, Leonard, Siakam, and Gasoll. Meanwhile, their bench pieces have finally come to life, as Norman Powell, Serge Ibaka, and new father Fred Vanvleet led the Raptors to four straight victories over the Bucks.

 

 

The Raptors are deep, versatile, and have one of the NBA's top three players in Kawhi Leonard leading them. They swept the Warriors twice during the regular season, laying the groundwork for their success. Where the Warriors have lost only once in their last two Finals appearances, the Raptors look to change end their legacy.

Can the Warriors Bench Keep Up?

It is no secret that the Golden State Warriors possess one of the most potent offenses in the NBA with their lineup of Curry, Thompson, Durant, Green, and Cousins. Take two of those players away though - Durant and Cousins - and what do they have?

Still a significantly talented side, but one that is suddenly without any leadership when the bench unit hits the court. In these playoffs, Andre Iguodala is the only "bench player" that was of great offensive impact scoring 10.1 points per game. His status as a bench player is questionable though, as he started six of fifteen in this post-season.

 

 

Can the likes of Quinn Cook, Kevon Looney, and Alfonzo McKinnie be enough for the Warriors against the Toronto Raptors? None have proven to be able to play a significant role, but they've been excellent support pieces. Until Durant and Cousins return, they will need to match up with a ferocious Raptors reserve lineup.

Is Steph Looking To Claim His First Finals MVP?

Stephen Curry came into the league as a tweeter guard with little promise to be a point guard of significance as even the likes of Ricky Rubio and Jonny Flynn were rated more highly in the 2009 NBA Draft. He is now a six-time All-Star, three-time NBA Champion, and two-time MVP. All that has eluded him is the Finals MVP Award to top off his legacy as one of the greatest point guards to ever play.

Circumstantially the Warriors have relied on others in the NBA Finals to make an impact. However, against these Toronto Raptors, he will need to be the catalyst and the finisher. With the status of Durant and Cousins out, there is no player that will make a greater impact for the Warriors.

With the Warriors dynasty looking to come to an end, there would be no greater topper to their performance than the long-coveted Finals MVP going to Stephen Curry. He'll have his work cut out for him though, as Kawhi Leonard is looking for revenge against the last Western Conference team he played in the post-season.

Golden State Warriors - Odds to Win the NBA Finals, Betting Lines

The odds are greatly in the favor of the Golden State Warriors. While they are lacking some key pieces in Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins to start the series, they are still rife with talent across the board to contest the Toronto Raptors.

The Toronto Raptors look to be their greatest challenge yet in an NBA Finals series - their legacy hinges on their ability to dispatch them. Toronto is making their first-ever Finals appearance and has overcome the odds in every round to make their way to the Finals. It should be a thrilling series for the Warriors.

If you are in New Jersey you can bet on your favorite to win the NBA finals with 888Sport and BetStars NJ. Here are the latest odds.

Sportsbook GS Warriors TOR Raptors Link
888Sport NJ -286 +225
BetStars NJ -333 +235

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER

Draftkings Special Odds For NBA Finals

Most Points in NBA Finals

Player Odds Link
Steph Curry -134
Kawhi Leonard +100
Klay Thompson +1600
Pascal Siakam +3000
Draymond Green +9000
Kyle Lowry +10000

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER

Most Assists in NBA Finals

Player Odds Link
Draymond Green -200
Kyle Lowry +350
Steph Curry +450
Kawhi Leonard +5000
Marc Gasol +8000

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER

Most Rebounds in NBA Finals

Player Odds Link
Draymond Green -225
Kawhi Leonard +280
Pascal Siakam +1200
Marc Gasol +4300
Serge Ibaka +4300
Steph Curry +5400
Kevon Looney +10000  

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER

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