NBA Finals specialists’ picks: Who’s giving the sting to the Raptors?

Will the Golden State Warriors coast to their third straight championship and fourth in 5 years? Will Kawhi Leonard take over and carry the Toronto Raptors to the franchise’s first title? And which star will take residence Finals MVP honors?

Heading into Sport 1 at Scotiabank Enviornment on Thursday (9 p.m. ET, ABC), our NBA specialists are making their picks for the collection.

Extra: Forecast | 5-on-5: Huge Finals questions | What to know for GS-TOR

NBA Finals

Toronto Raptors vs. Golden State Warriors

The case for…

Warriors in 5
Golden State has proved since its championship run began in 2015 that successful on the street and coping with adversity is a part of its DNA. That psychological make-up is why the Warriors will steal a sport in Toronto, care for enterprise at Oracle and end off this collection north of the border. — Bobby Marks

Warriors in 6
A six-game collection is the most certainly for the decrease seed to win. I believe statistical fashions that both take into account this matchup a toss-up or give the Raptors the sting are underrating how effectively the Warriors have performed with out Kevin Durant. And if this collection is shut and goes lengthy, effectively, that will increase the probabilities of Durant returning to assist push Golden State excessive. — Kevin Pelton

Warriors in 7
That is a particularly powerful name, particularly with Durant’s standing up within the air. Kawhi Leonard, Kyle Lowry and the Raptors are an actual risk, however the Warriors are nonetheless excellent with out Durant, have far more Finals expertise and are very effectively rested for the primary time shortly. The return of Durant might put a difficult defensive wrinkle in the midst of the collection for Toronto. Stephen Curry has at all times performed nice in opposition to his dad’s outdated crew, too. Leonard’s and Durant’s well being will issue within the consequence. — Marc Spears

Raptors in 7
The Warriors have apparent championship pedigree, and so they simply might win this collection and get their three-peat. However the uncertainty about Kevin Durant’s return — coupled with the Raptors having home-court benefit, arguably the most effective participant within the collection in Kawhi Leonard and the most effective defensive unit that Golden State has seen throughout its dynastic run — is sufficient to tip the scales in Toronto’s course to say the Raptors will win their first championship. — Tim Bontemps

The Raptors are constructed to offer the Warriors difficulties. They’ve an impressive defensive entrance line that options three Defensive Participant of the 12 months award winners plus a second-place end unfold amongst three gamers, none of whom have been the most effective defender on the crew this season — that honor went to Pascal Siakam. The Raptors are top-10 within the NBA in Three-pointers made and Three-point proportion, and are additionally high 10 in fewest Three-pointers and lowest Three-point proportion allowed. They’ve the positional range to play each model from conventional huge to small ball, with plus gamers at each place. — Andre Snellings

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