While the NBA season has become increasingly focused on free agency and the draft, the ultimate goal of every NBA team is to win a championship. The 2019 NBA Finals start today, featuring the Golden State Warriors against the Toronto Raptors. The Warriors are attempting to win their fourth championship in five seasons, something no team has done since the 60s Celtics, while the Raptors are in their first ever Finals. There are therefore plenty of storylines, even though the Raptors and Warriors have no real history with each other.
The Finals also means something to the Clippers, too. The Clippers, of course, lost to the Warriors in the first round, and the Warriors winning (especially handily) would make the Clippers’ series all the more impressive. Moreover, if the Warriors are able to win without the services of Kevin Durant, or with limited showings from him, he might be more likely to leave. The Clippers also have a massive interest in Raptors’ superstar Kawhi Leonard. While the Raptors have obviously proven that they are a great basketball team, it’s possible that a Raptors’ win in the Finals could actually clear the path for Kawhi to leave, having given Toronto what they needed from him.
Clippers’ relevancy aside, hopefully the series is at least entertaining after a snoozefest last year. This will be the first non Cavs-Warriors Finals since 2014, which is pretty incredible, and should be a breath of fresh air. Hopefully this lives up to the hype.
Game 1 will take place at 6:00 PM PT on ABC, at the Air Canada Center in Toronto.