Samante: The end game

Game on

THE Toronto Raptors did it in six games. They are the new NBA champions after beating a depleted Golden State Warriors team in their best-of-seven finals series last week. Most were going for a jugular winner take all game 7, but the Raptors had other things in mind. They wanted to finish the series in Oracle Arena in Oakland. But everything doesn’t end the way we want things to end. It is another heartbreaking season for the Dubs. Losing KD & Klay to injuries and failing to complete their quest for a “three-peat.” However, there is much jubilation for the Raptors, after years of playoffs exits. They are now on top of the basketball world. Led by Kawhi and other unheralded players, they proved their mettle to unseat the champs.

Some interesting facts from the recent finals:

1. Five of the six games were won by the visiting team drawing a thin line on the so-called “homecourt advantage.”

2. The Warriors own the second longest finals appearance streak at 5 (2015-2019) after this season. The Boston Celtics hold the record at 10 straight from 1957-1966.

3. The Warriors and the Bulls are tied with six championships each.

4. The 2019 NBA Finals featured 8 All-stars from both teams five from the Warriors, three from Toronto.

5. Kawhi Leonard is a three-peat buster. Foiling the 2014 Miami Heat when he was with the Spurs and in 2019 as a Raptor.

6. Kawhi is the first player to win the NBA Finals MVP in both the Eastern & Western Conference.

7. Kawhi and Danny Green are the first NBA duo to win a championship for two different countries (US & Canada).

8. Nick Nurse joins Steve Kerr and Tyronne Lue in an elite list of rookie coaches to win an NBA title.

9. Nick Nurse is the first G-league coach to win an NBA title.

10. This NBA Finals was the first without Lebron James. Lebron made it to eight straight finals from 2010-2018

The series was exciting and could have been more fun and competitive if the Warriors were healthy and complete. It was apparent in Game 5 when KD returned briefly and in Game 6 with Klay giving his all before the unfortunate happened.

Only the basketball gods know when this will happen again, but they have already given us a new Lakeshow with LBJ & AD teaming up for next season.


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