NBA Finals Preview Capsule
Capsule preview of the NBA Finals:
West No. 1 GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS (57-25, 12-4) vs. East No. 2 TORONTO RAPTORS (58-24, 12-6)
Season series: Toronto, 2-0
Schedule: Thursday and Sunday at Toronto; June 5 and June 7 at Golden State; June 10 at Toronto; June 13 at Golden State; June 16 at Toronto.
TV: All games on ABC, all starting at 9 p.m. EDT except Game 2 and Game 7, which will both be 8 p.m. EDT starts.
Story line: The Warriors are seeking a third consecutive NBA championship and fourth in the past five seasons, while the Raptors are in the title series for the first time. Warriors coach Steve Kerr is trying to win his ninth NBA championship — five as a player, and this would be four as a coach. Raptors star Kawhi Leonard is in the finals for the third time, after trips there with San Antonio in 2013 and 2014.
Key matchup: Leonard vs. Golden State’s Andre Iguodala. Expect this to be the way the Warriors start defensively, anyway, and how Iguodala fares will set the tone for the series.
Injury watch: The Warriors may get DeMarcus Cousins (quad) back for Game 1, but Kevin Durant (calf) remains sidelined for at least the opener and won’t play until he can return to practice. The Raptors are hoping to have OG Anunoby (appendectomy) back at some point in the series.
Numbers of note: Game 1 will be the first finals game played in Canada, or anywhere else besides U.S. soil. ... Warriors guard Stephen Curry is 13 attempts from 3-point range away from passing LeBron James for the most 3s taken in NBA playoff history. Curry already holds the playoff career record for 3s made (447) and 3s made in the finals (98).
Prediction: Toronto has had a marvelous year. But the Warriors are still the Warriors. Until proven otherwise, it’s still their world. WARRIORS in 6.