While you were busy celebrating, or asleep, countless people shared their thoughts on the historic occasion; some sweet, some salty, but all entertaining.
But I snapped to attention when one of the most respected bettors in the industry for the past few decades, a hockey savant, said he was NOT gonna bet on the Stanley Cup. WHAT! This is a guy that wagers HEFTY sums on multiple hockey games each night during the regular season, and he is closing the wallet for the Cup. BRILLIANT guy and a $UCCE$$FUL guy. You dont have to follow his lead, but it IS food for thought. Just because its on TV, or your iPad, or your phone, does not mean you have to bet it. Money management baby.
We've compiled the reactions into some handy categories for your enjoyment as you await Game 1 between the reigning NBA champion Golden State Warriors and the Raptors on Thursday in Toronto.
First, the regular-season results. The first meeting was in Toronto, and the Raptors were -9.5. WHAT? Yeah, NO Steph Curry and NO Draymond Green, which obviously inflated the line. And if youre interested, Kevin Durant scored 51, yeah, FIFTY ONE! Result: The North posted a 131-128 win and the total went Over the closing number of 223.
Good luck to No. 2 against the real MVP of the playoffs, Steph Curry, who scored 23 in the 4th quarter of the closeout game at Houston, in what was actually the NBA Finals.
KD is with the team but WILL NOT play. Of course, thats not ideal, but the Dubs DID win a title WITHOUT Durant. Do not feel strong on a pick, but do lean to the Warriors. Gonna go prop wagers, specifically the winning-margin proposition.
Sports betting: Vegas Vic handing out a couple of props for Game 1 of the Warriors-Raptors
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Will the Golden State Warriors make history or can the Toronto Raptors complete their charmed run? Our writers predict the winner, key players and dark horses for the championship tilt
Taking both Golden State and Toronto to win by 7-9 points at 8/1 and 10-13 points at 8/1. Dropping a quarter of a Benj on each play. It comes out to a $100 play to win $200.
Golden State will need to show up. I mean that quite literally: it isnt certain when Kevin Durant will return with his calf injury. But once again the Warriors are playing the role of seemingly unstoppable juggernaut v an almost supernaturally gifted one-man force (with Torontos Kawhi Leonard inheriting the role usually occupied by LeBron James). HF
Read more Noted Knicks fan Woody Allen could have been talking about the Warriors when he said 80% of life is showing up. Golden States healthy rotation includes a pair of Most Valuable Players and a couple more All-Stars whose speed, switchability and understanding of Steve Kerrs complex motion offense forces defenses to pick their poison. Not even the injury to Durant, who had been averaging an eye-popping 34.2 points in the playoffs, has slowed their roll: the Warriors have won six on the trot since losing the 10-time All-Star to a calf injury, prompting an almost laughable conversation over whether theyre better off without him. BAG
Figure out what to do with Marc Gasol. Kawhi Leonard cannot carry the load alone, and Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam cannot be relied on to match Golden States star quality. Toronto will need Gasol to have a big series in what has historically been a tough matchup for him. OC
Thats an extremely good question, isnt it? Leonard has to keep being the best player on the floor, as hes been in every series so far. But hes going to need lots of help against the Warriors, especially if Durant returns, so the likes of Lowry, Siakim and Gason are going to need to have the deliver the best games of their careers and help shoulder the load. HF
The Raptors length and athleticism make them perhaps the best outfitted team to answer Golden States high-octane offense since the 2016 Oklahoma City Thunder, who pushed the 73-win Warriors to the limit before letting a three-games-to-one lead in the West finals slip away. Leonard and Gasol are former Defensive Players of the Year, Danny Green and Serge Ibaka have both featured on All-Defensive teams while Siakam, the emerging frontcourt star and Most Improved Player frontrunner, is a stretch four whos drawn comparisons to Draymond Green. Be aggressive with Curry, get those long limbs in the passing lanes … and hope Durants injury is worse than Golden State is letting on. BAG
Its hard to pick anybody other than Curry. Durant will miss at least Game 1 and Leonard would have to be on the winning team. Theres a chance that Klay Thompson could catch fire and get the nod on sheer volume but … nope, its going to be Steph. HF
Hard to believe that Curry has never won this trophy, but hes scored 25, 33, 36, 37, 36 and 37 points in the six games since Durant went down. With KDs availability in question, surely the Davidson sniper wont be snubbed again. BAG
Pascal Siakam. Siakam has been, to be polite, up-and-down in the playoffs. Long, wiry, with decent twitch and a soft touch, hes the prototype of a modern wing. But a lot of his regular season excellence was based on effort. Everybody tries in the playoffs; effort isnt such a special skill. How he plays will be a good bellwether. OC
Kevon Looney. With DeMarcus Cousins hurt, Looney has emerged as the Warriors center. None other than Steve Kerr has said that he has become one of the teams foundational pieces and hes averaging 7.5 points and 4.9 rebounds in the postseason. HF
Kevon Looney. The Warriors have started five different centers in their 16 playoff games so far. Looney has not been one of them, but few of Golden States big men have done more to pick up the frontcourt slack with Cousins and Durant out of the lineup. The fourth-year UCLA product averaged 10.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.0 blocked shot while shooting a torrid 77.8% clip from the floor in Golden States four-game sweep of Portland. Looney, whom Steve Kerr has called one of the teams cornerstones moving forward, will play a principal role in helping the Warriors combat Torontos Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka. BAG
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Raptors forward Pascal Siakam celebrates a dunk against the Bucks during Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals. Photograph: Frank Gunn/AP One bold prediction Kevin Durant has played his last game for the Warriors. If the Warriors take a 2-0 lead in the series, you have to wonder what incentive Durant has to come back. Jumping back onto this core will only give his detractors – those he pays the utmost attention to – extra ammunition. OC
The Raptors will take a 2-0 lead in the series. That shouldnt be a bold prediction, considering that the Raptors have home court advantage and have a shot at a Golden State team without their best player in Durant but, well, it would be an absolutely shocking start to the finals. HF
Yes, though they wont revert back to the pre-Durant, 73-win team. The regular season will be a grind: It can bore a team seeking its sixth straight finals appearance; Andre Iguodala is 35; Shaun Livingston is all but done; Harrison Barnes is gone. These playoffs have proved the Warriors are still a bona fide juggernaut without Durant, it will just look different. OC
Ill say no, if only out of hope the status quo gets shaken up. Once not so long ago, the Warriors were an afterthought. Then they were an exciting phenomenon. And then they were the team that had solved basketball. Its time for basketball to be a problem again. HF
Yes. The Warriors could be on the brink of major changes in the offseason with Thompson set to become an unrestricted free agent and Durant widely expected to test the waters despite a player option for 2020. Theres also the matter of Green, who is eligible for a supermax contract extension. Simply put, its too early to say, but it would take more than a defection or two to seriously undercut the five-time defending Western Conference champions status as clubhouse favorites. BAG
Sure, but not before Seattle or Vegas. Both locations are crying out for NBA teams. Im sure Canada can make-do with rallying behind a finals team for now. OC
What, before the NBA fixes the horrific wrong it has done to the city of Seattle? Listen, I know that there are plenty of people in Vancouver who miss the Grizzlies. Basketball is an international sport and theres no reason not to have two Canadian teams. But come on: we need to make up for the fact that the Seattle Supersonics should still exist. HF
If the NBA decides to expand or relocate a current team, the Canadian city that would seem the best fit is, ironically, Vancouver, which lost the Grizzlies to Memphis nearly two decades ago. Commissioner Adam Silver is behind the idea, which coincides with the sports growing popularity in north of the border. BAG
Golden State in six. Kawhi is great, but the Raptors are too reliant on Lowry and Siakam to keep up with the Warriors star-studded cast, with or without Durant. OC
Golden State in six. Yes, the Raptors will win the first two of the games of the series at home but Durant will return by Game 3 and will spur the Warriors beat the Raptors in four straight. Fittingly enough, the Raptors did the same thing to the Milwaukee Bucks in the East finals. HF
Golden State in six. The Raptors are entering on a head of steam and the Warriors are looking somewhat vulnerable with Durant, Iguodala and Cousins dealing with various injuries. But not even another Jordan-esque performance from Leonard will be enough to keep the Dubs from capturing a third straight title. and fourth in five years, in the last ever game in the history of Oracle Arena. BAG