Updated: Feb 29
For the first time in a long time we are not seeing LeBron James in an NBA Finals game. Which is great for the league. What's worse for the league... Drake. There's going to be a lot more Drake. I've already said my piece there, I won't get back into that.
Golden State and Toronto will be tipping off for game 1 on Thursday at 9pm/EST. Kawhi Leonard is back in the Finals since his 2014 win with the San Antonio Spurs. Steph Curry is back in the Finals for the fifth year in a row and KD is looking to rebound from a calf injury to play in his 3rd consecutive since joining Golden State from the Oklahoma City Thunder. Unlikely to play in game 1 due to the aforementioned calf injury, this is a great opportunity for Toronto to pick up a quick lead before the reigning 2x NBA Finals MVP makes his return for the Warriors.
Kyle Lowry will be getting his first taste of the NBA Finals now that LeBron has moved to Los Angeles opening up a clear hole in the Eastern Conference. After the last few years of heartbreak Lowry will finally get a chance to play for what every NBA Player dreams of. Unfortunately for him, he will be doing it without his best friend and former running mate DeMar DeRozan, who was traded to San Antonio when Kawhi forced his way out. Bittersweet, I'm sure. If you followed that story about how upset DeRozan and Lowry were when the trade had happened, you can't help but feel for DeRozan and how Kawhi did in 1 year what DeRozan could not do for the last 5 years. Sure, LBJ being gone was helpful but a serious blow to the ego, it must be to watch your former team do something you spent your whole career working toward immediately after your departure.
I think DeMar and former Coach of the Year Dwayne Casey deserve as much credit for this playoff run as Nick Nurse and the current roster. They were responsible for the culture and the wins that shaped this team to who they are today.
Regardless, this should be a good series and I think that the experience that Kawhi and Danny Green bring to Toronto (from their San Antonio days) will help calm the nerves of the new comers and they can lead this team to a couple wins in this series. I still think Golden State will hoist the Larry O'Brien trophy when all is said and done... but I love a good upset.