Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Warriors still favored to win NBA title despite Kevin Durant injury
Kevin Durant will miss Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals on Tuesday night and is “unlikely” to play Game 2 Thursday, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.
Even with Kevin Durant at far less than 100 percent and the Bucks rolling over the Celtics in the second round, the Warriors are still -165 favorites to win their third straight NBA title, well ahead of the Bucks at +230. According to Steve Dominey at mytopsportsbooks.com, the Raptors are a stiffer test for Milwaukee in the East finals, which begin Wednesday in Milwaukee, compared to the Blazers in the West.
Toronto is indeed a better all-around team than Portland based on season-long numbers, but they are suffering from their own injuries and have become a one-man Kawhi Leonard show. Milwaukee’s depth, not to mention MVP favorite Giannis Antetokounmpo, puts them in a great position to, not only beat Toronto, but give the Dubs everything they can handle in the finals.
Toronto escaped with a Game 7 win over the 76ers on Sunday night only after Leonard’s last-second jumper hit the rim four times before falling through the net.
“That’s a tough way to lose,” Sixers coach Brett Brown said, per the Toronto Sun.
“I just knew I had to shoot it high,” Leonard said. “It was ended up a soft touch, and it went in.”
Leonard scored 243 points in the Eastern Conference semifinals, the most in a single postseason series since Michael Jordan scored 246 points in the 1993 NBA Finals.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.