The Golden State Warriors and the Toronto Raptors are just minutes away from beginning Game 1 of the 2019 NBA Finals. Before that, ESPN’s top personalities gave their predictions for who would win the series.
Even though the Warriors have won six straight games against the Houston Rockets and Portland Trail Blazers, ESPN’s analysts aren’t exactly certain that the Warriors have this series locked up. In fact, the eight analysts who provided their predictions were evenly split on who would win.
Stephen A. Smith, Michael Wilbon, Michelle Beadle, and Mike Greenberg all picked the Warriors to win the their third straight NBA title in six games.
However, Max Kellerman, Jalen Rose, Paul Pierce and Chauncey Billups are picking the Raptors. Rose and Billups have them taking the Warriors to seven games, while Kellerman and Pierce believe the Raptors can get it done in just six.
— ESPN (@espn) May 30, 2019
The Warriors are appearing in their fifth straight NBA Finals, though this is their first in that span that isn’t against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Raptors, on the other hand, are making their first-ever appearance in the Finals.
The two teams have had very different paths to the playoffs: The Warriors swept the Trail Blazers in the Western Conference Finals, while Toronto overcame a 2-0 series deficit to the Milwaukee Bucks to win the East in six games.
Game 1 of the NBA Finals starts at 9:00 p.m. EST on ABC.