The Golden State Warriors have their sights set on a 4th Lawrence O’Brien Trophy in 5 years. Standing in the way are Kawhi Leonard and a very talented Toronto Raptors team.
Golden State swept Portland in 4 games in the Western Conference Finals and has had an extensive rest. Kevin Durant could be out for the series with a strained calf, an injury that kept now Braves third baseman Josh Donaldson out for almost the entire season last year for the Toronto Blue Jays, though he had several of them. Durant could return at some point, but he is definitely out for the first 2 games in Toronto. DeMarcus Cousins, who came back in January after suffering a ruptured Achilles tendon before the start of the 2017-18 season, is questionable with a torn quad he suffered in the Warriors first playoff series. Toronto has the home court advantage. The first 2 will be in Toronto, the next 2 in Golden State, then 1 in Toronto, 1 in Golden State, and, if necessary, game 7 in Toronto.
After sinking a buzzer beating corner 3 that hit the side of the rim bounced up above the rim and came down through the net to help his team win their series against the 76ers in the conference semifinals, Leonard dominated the Milwaukee Bucks leading his team to a 4-2 series victor. He was by far the best player on the court averaging 29.8 points and 9.5 rebounds and thoroughly outplayed presumptive NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, who looked lost against a terrific Raptors D that collapsed on him every time he tried to get in the lane and score. Kawhi played a lot of defense on Antetokounmpo and was exceptional. He’s an elite defender, an elite all around player.
On the other side, Steph Curry has been spectacular in the Warriors last 6 playoff games averaging 34 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 6.3 assists. He was catching some heat earlier in the playoffs for his foul trouble and his disappearing act in some of the earlier games. That just ignited the great Curry. And Draymond Green has been just as superb in those 6 games averaging 13.4 points, 11.5 rebounds and 8.8 assists. Klay Thompson has been pretty good, and I expect him to step it up against the Raptors.
Game 1 Thursday @Toronto 8 PM CT, ABC
Game 2 Sunday @Toronto 7 PMN CT ABC
Game 3 @GS Wednesday, June 5, 8 PM CT ABC
Game 4, @GS, Friday, June 7, 8 PM CT ABC
*Game 5 @Toronto Monday, June 10, 8 PM CT ABC
*Game 6, Thursday, June 13, 8 PM CT ABC
*Game 7, @ Toronto, Sunday, June 16, 7 PM CT ABC
It’s hard to go against Leonard, he’s playing the best basketball in the NBA right now, it’s historically good quite frankly. Toronto has the home court and have studs around Leonard in Kyle Lowry, Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol, Fred Van Vleet, Serge Ibaka, and an amazing bench player in Norman Powell. That’s a ton of star power.
Despite that, I trust the Dubs. They prove it time and time again every time they are doubted. I would argue that they are a better team overall without Kevin Durant. Draymond Green told him that when they got into an intense argument back in January. Of course, Green was suspended for a game, and the prima donna Durant, who’s been a malcontent for a while now, came away unscathed. While the Raptors are a terrific team, I’m taking Steph and the Dubs to win their 4th NBA championship in 5 years.
Golden Stata in 6
44th Memorial Tournament prediction
Muirfield Village Golf Club, Dublin Ohio, 7,392 yards, par 72
Jack Nicklaus design
Defending champion: Bryson DeChambeau
Weather, questionable tomorrow and chances of rain and t storms throughout the weekend. High’s in the mid to high 70’s, wind anywhere from 8-15 tomorrow, 6-8 Friday and Saturday, and 8-15 on Sunday. Hopefully, the weather will not be a problem because it’s an awesome field as many of the top players in the world compete in this major like event to win Jack’s tournament and hone their games for the U.S. Open in 2 weeks at Pebble Beach. Tiger Woods, a 5 time winner, is playing, along with Justin Rose, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Justin Thomas and many other high caliber players. Super field.
Thursday-Friday, 1:30-5 PM CT Golf Channel,
Saturday, 11:30 AM-1:45 PM CT, Golf Channel, 2-5 PM CT, CBS,
Sunday, 11 AM-1:15 PM CT, Golf Channel, 1:30-5 PM CT, CBS.
I was thinking Tony Finau all week, he’s been playing well, finished 2nd last week at the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth, and finished tied 13th last year at the Memorial. But after some further thought, I’m going to go a different route. This 33 year old from Inverness, Scotland shot a 65 last Sunday at Colonial, and finished tied for 8th. He’s a pretty good closer, better than Finau. I like his chances in the Open Championship July 18-21 at Royal Portrush, Northern Ireland. I’ll take him at Jack’s tournament.