For the sixth consecutive season, the Los Angeles Lakers failed to make the playoffs. However, it will mark the first time in eight seasons the NBA Finals will not feature LeBron James representing the Eastern Conference.
Despite that, the 2019 NBA playoffs have been wildly entertaining. This season’s conference semifinals was one of the best individual rounds in recent memory and although the conference finals were a bit disappointing, it weeded out those who weren’t ready for the spotlight.
After taking Games 1 and Game 2 convincingly, the Milwaukee Bucks completely lost focus with Giannis Antetokounmpo struggling to find any rhythm whatsoever. Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors found the formula to shutting him down almost entirely, and it led them rattling off four straight wins en route to their first ever Finals appearance.
While questions continue to swirl about Leonard’s free agency decision, he kept the topic of conversation firmly on basketball with his stellar play.
In the Western Conference, the Stephen Curry vs. Seth Curry matchup failed to live up to the hype. Without Kevin Durant, Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green reminded everyone that they went to two consecutive Finals, winning one of them — even before Durant got there. In a series that saw the Portland Trail Blazers blow three consecutive 17-point leads, the Warriors were simply too dominant and it only took them four games to get rid of one of the league’s top backcourts in Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.
Heading into the 2019 NBA Finals, Durant will miss at least the first two games in Toronto which could go one of two ways. It could either be a highly competitive six- or seven-game series where the Raptors prove they belong and Leonard cements his place among the best players in the league. Or, it will be the Warriors dominating every step of the way to the NBA’s sixth-ever three-peat and also their fourth championship in five consecutive NBA Finals appearances.
Below are the NBA Finals matchup, dates, and times (PST).
Golden State Warriors (1) vs. Toronto Raptors (2); Toronto won season series 2-0.
Game 1: Warriors at Raptors, Thursday, May 30 at 6:00 p.m. (ABC)
Game 2: Warriors at Raptors, Sunday, June 2 at 5:00 p.m. (ABC)
Game 3: Raptors at Warriors, Wednesday, June 5 at 6:00 p.m. (ABC)
Game 4: Raptors at Warriors, Friday, June 7 at 6:00 p.m. (ABC)
*Game 5: Warriors at Raptors, Monday, June 10 at 6:00 p.m. (ABC)
*Game 6: Raptors at Warriors, Thursday, June 13 at 6:00 p.m. (ABC)
*Game 7: Warriors at Raptors, Sunday, June 16 at 5:00 p.m. (ABC)