A Look Back at the NBA Finals 2018-2019
With the dust from the NBA Playoffs settling, only one team could remain victorious as world champions. Through the injuries, drama, and firings of the regular season the best eight from each division were left standing to fight for the 2018-2019 NBA Championship, in the eastern conference with LeBron James now in Los Angles the doors to the finals from the east were left wide open for teams like the Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, and Toronto Raptors all who had positioned themselves the off-season before to take over the east when the rumors that LeBron would leave for the west, and by now we all know who made it through the jungle and onto the NBA Finals as the Toronto Raptors won the eat going through the Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, and Milwaukee Bucks on their run.
In the western conference it wasn’t as much of a question of who would get to the finals as much as when the parade would b, as the Golden State Warriors have held the conference in the palm of their hand for the last five years as the weight of the two-time MVP Stephen Curry, two-time finals MVP Kevin Durant, sharp shooter Klay Thompson, and the defensive force Draymond Green seemed to be too much for the rest of the league as they can go to another gear if needed. And with a the experience, few losses to the roster, and health getting back to the finals seemed to be the least of their worries as the only real threat that they faced were the Los Angeles Clippers as they took them to six game including a 31 point comeback, still the warriors managed the storm as they do so often taking care of their next two opponents the Houston Rockets and the Portland Trailblazers with ease. And although Golden State did advance to the NBA finals for a fifth straight year they did so holding their breath this year when Kevin Durant went down in the western conference semi-finals against the Houston Rockets with a serious calf injury and that one injury alone put a blanket on any chance of a three-peat or title hopes all together. But in true warrior fashion they responded as only true champions can and swept the trailblazers in the western finals without Durant, moving on the NBA finals.
With the Raptors still battling the Bucks out in the eastern conference finals, the Warriors were resting and trying to figure out when and if Kevin Durant would return to action as we would soon all learn, KD would miss game one of the 2018-2019 NBA Finals as the Warriors fell in Toronto 118-109 as the Raptors home court and fresh legs came in handy only beating the Bucks days eailer. Game 2 we saw the same story we always do with Golden State as they make their adjustments the rest of us just can’t keep up and just like that they stole game two on the road winning 109-104 getting a big lift from the “Splash Bros.” as they combined for 48 points, however the real turning point would come as the series shifted back to the states as we witnessed some of the last games in the historic Oracle Arena when the Raptors stole back not just one game but both games leaving the Warriors questioning themselves on what’s possible without Kevin. As the Raptors kept applying pressure having what seemed like all the answers as without Kevin Durant the depth and scoring just wasn’t there for the Warriors to hold their own, they were being beat on the boards, Fastbreak points, and bench scoring while it only seemed that Steph could see the ball go through the basket as the Raptors even went a box-and-one(when four players form a box on the corners of the lane and one player face guards another player) at times to do whatever they could to make sure that Curry didn’t score the ball.
With a commanding 3-1 lead heading into game four many had the thoughts that things were all but over for this Warriors dynasty and they had finally meet their match with the idea of sacrificing a bench for star power blowing up in their face, and then just like that reports surface that Kevin Durant would return for game five in Toronto as he would try and lead the Warriors back from a 3-1 deficient as the Cavilers had done them just a couple of years ago. Kevin started off strong as ever going for 11 points in 12 minutes and 3-3 from three point land and then it happened, as Kevin mad a move to beat Serge Ibaka off the dribble to the center of the floor he re-injured himself in the same area that he did in the western semi-finals against the Rockets but when he went down this time everyone knew it was for the worst.
Although Golden State went on to win game five, game six held a different outcome even through all the raw emotion of Kevin’s injury, being on the brink of elimination, and even the last game to be played in Oracle Arena the Raptors didn’t seemed phased by any of it. Coming out victorious as they captured their first NBA Championship.