Jay C. Brandriet


The Toronto Raptors had just earned their first ever trip to the NBA Finals. The engraving was not even on the trophy yet. These are the three texts I saw on my phone.

“Warriors in 5.”

“Warriors in 5.”


The majority of people are simply brushing the Raptors aside.

They are better than that.

The predictions being so casual are intended to praise the mighty Warriors. I see it as disrespect to Toronto.

The Golden State Warriors are headed to their fifth straight Finals. They have the most talent and firepower. They are a dynasty and should be favored.



They beat a legit Philadelpia squad in a playoff series.

Milwaukee had not lost three straight games all season. The Raptors just took four straight from them with the East on the line.

They have home court advantage in these Finals.

They are long and play defense.

It does not hurt Toronto’s confidence that they beat the Warriors both times in 2019.

Any team with Kawhi Leonard has a chance. I didn’t hear any “Giannis was exposed” talk until Leonard and his team clamped down on him. Kawhi is also scoring 31 a night this post season.

Marc Gasol is sharp. He’s a former Defensive Player of the Year, with some punch left.

Pascal Siakam has an impact we can all see.

You can rip Kyle Lowry. He’s still a five time All-Star with a ton of grit.

Serge Ibaka has been here before. He’s led the NBA in blocks in twice.

Danny Green has won.

VanVleet and Powell can ball enough to help.

Kevin Durant is still injured.



They are the Warriors.

Their culture is built for these moments. They play defense too.

Without Kevin Durant, DeMarcus Cousins, and one night minus Andre Iguadola….. Golden State  swept Portland in the Western Conference Finals.

Stephen Curry had a dislocated finger. In the sweep he averaged 36.5 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 7.3 assists. His movement off the ball was a like a clinic. I have a buddy who before the series called Steph a “one trick pony.”

Hmm. Some trick.

Steph’s motivated. These next four to seven contests could take his legacy to the moon. The consequences of losing  are huge as well.

Klay Thompson is normally scary. How scary is he when he’s pissed?

Draymond is lighter, focused, and creating an amazing pace by pushing the ball.

Iguadola just got extended rest.

The Warriors role guys are trending up.

Kevin Durant and Cousins might come back.

The Raptors are a better test than two of the Cavs teams GS beat in their title runs.










I will pick the Warriors to win in a competitive six.

It feels more likely to go seven than five to me.

KD not ready to go is a massive piece in all of this. He’s a legend at his apex.

Before the 2009 Finals I remember calling the Orlando Magic “the perfect victim.” They were good enough to be there, but I could see them easily falling to Kobe’s Lakers.

These Raptors seem championship worthy. They seem stout.

I think this would be Golden State’s most impressive ring.

The Warriors are about to have their hands full.


Jay C. Brandriet








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