The 2019 NBA Finals are set, and it tips off on Thursday night with Game 1 in Toronto. That’s right, the Raptors have made it to the Finals for the first time in franchise history, winning four straight games over the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference finals to clinch their spot with a 4-2 series win.
On the other side is a mainstay in this round. The Golden State Warriors are back in the Finals for the fifth straight season, and they’ll be looking for their third title in a row, and fourth of this run. They also won four straight games in their conference finals series, but they didn’t lose two first. Instead, they swept the Portland Trail Blazers, 4-0 in the Western Conference finals.
Now, with history on the line, the Raptors and Warriors will meet in what should be an entertaining series. Either the Raptors win their first title in franchise history, or the Warriors become the first team to three-peat since the 2000-02 Los Angeles Lakers. Regardless, we’ll get to see Kawhi Leonard and Steph Curry continue to play some amazing basketball, and it doesn’t get better than that.
Here’s everything to know about Game 1 of the 2019 NBA Finals.
How to watch Warriors vs. Raptors Game 1
- Date: Thursday, May 30
- Time: 9 p.m. ET
- Location: Scotiabank Arena — Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- TV: ABC
- Streaming: Watch ESPN
- Live stats: GameTracker
- Odds: Raptors -1 (Over/Under 215)
Warriors: Golden State is back where it belongs. Making their fifth straight appearance in the NBA Finals, the Warriors are on a mission to become the first team since the 2000-02 Los Angeles Lakers to three-peat. This season’s path wasn’t as easy as it has been in the past, though, as they lost Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins to injury, and had to battle back from double-digit deficits three times in the Western Conference finals. That trend will continue in the Finals, where they’ll face a Raptors team that figures to provide much stiffer competition than the Cleveland Cavaliers, who they swept last season, and beat in five games in 2017.
Raptors: Toronto, meanwhile, has reached the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history. The Raptors did it in style, rattling off four straight wins to take down the No. 1 overall seed Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference finals. Kawhi Leonard was spectacular, just as he has been all playoffs, and now the Raptors’ bold gamble last summer is just four wins from paying off with the biggest prize of all: an NBA title. They’ll have their work cut out for them, though, regardless of whether Durant returns at some point.
Game prediction, pick
Kevin Durant isn’t expected to play in Game 1 on Thursday night, but the Warriors can still win without him. They’ve had plenty of time to rest and recover, and Steph Curry and Draymond Green are playing some of the best basketball of their lives. Warriors in a close one.