We’ve come to the point where the NBA Finals are between the two-time defending champions Golden State Warriors and the first-time finalist Toronto Raptors. The Warriors are looking for their fourth title in five years, the Raptors their first in their history.
Many people are picking the Warriors to win based on their experience with playoff finals basketball, even without Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins, and the inconsistent play of the Raptors outside of Kawhi Leonard.
I think the Warriors should win, not easily, but win. It’ll depend on Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draemond Green keeping up their post-Durant-injury performances. However, Leonard has done a yeoman performance in carrying the Raptors to the finals.
Leonard is the best all-around player still active in the finals and effectively stopped MVP-apparent Giannis Antetokounmpo in the conference finals. He’ll get the Curry/Durant defensive assignments. Green will get the bulk of the Leonard defensive assignments.
As for Durant, I’m as tired as he is of the cottage industry which has sprung up among the national media asking where he may go after the season. Let the games finish first before speculating. If he goes to the Knicks, with the chaos there, I’ll think he’ll be crazy, but it’s his choice.
A couple of sad notes: Green Bay Packers’ Hall of Fame legend Bart Starr passed away this past weekend at the age of 85. Starr was the offensive triggerman of the great Packers teams that won five NFL titles in 10 years including the first two Super Bowls. He was the third Packer HOF member from that era to die since last fall after Jim Taylor and Forrest Gregg.
Bill Buckner died on Monday at the age of 69. He would be best known for being the designated scapegoat of the 1986 Red Sox, but he had 2,700-plus hits and had a career batting average over .300.
See you next week.
Contact Jeff Harvey at firstname.lastname@example.org.