There seems to be a common belief that the Golden State Warriors are disrespected by many NBA fans. It may just stem from the fact that they’ve been the definition of elite in recent years, but regardless, the disrespect this postseason is tough to find considering all they’ve done. But according to the data and projections of one site, it appears the internet has still found a way to hate on the Warriors.
Popular analytics/data/projections website FiveThirtyEight has updated the chances each team remaining in the NBA playoffs has to win the 2019 NBA Finals. And apparently, the Warriors come in behind the Toronto Raptors based on the current outlook of their Carmelo projection system.
- Toronto Raptors: 47 percent chance
- Golden State Warriors: 41 percent chance
- Milwaukee Bucks: 12 percent chance
I have a number of question about how these projections played out, especially when you look at the website’s other breakdown. Their Elo system is the original and popular choice for NBA fans, and it currently lists the Warriors with a 50 percent chance to win the title, the Raptors at 37 percent and Bucks at 13 percent.
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Warriors Not Favored With Eastern Conference Finals Still Ongoing
This is probably the biggest reason for the confusion, as the Warriors are listed with a worse chance to win the title than a team who still has to close out the Bucks and one of the NBA’s best players. Although the Raptors took a big step towards getting the job done with a road victory in Game 5, they’ll need to finish the series at home or be forced to head back to Milwaukee for Game 7.
If the Raptors had already clinched a spot in the NBA Finals and were projected to defeat the Warriors, there would at least be an argument for it. After all, the Warriors are dealing with injuries to both Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins, while Kawhi Leonard is playing on another level currently.
But even factoring those things in, Golden State has looked incredibly impressive while playing without Durant and Cousins. The Raptors could certainly take home the trophy this year, but pegging them with better odds than the Warriors at this exact moment is tough to defend.
Warriors Favored Over Both Raptors & Bucks
Although FiveThirtyEight doesn’t appear to be on board with the Warriors winning the NBA Finals if they meet the Raptors, the same can’t be said for oddsmakers. The early odds on each potential series point to the Warriors as fairly heavy favorites, and they’re being given an even bigger edge if the series is against Toronto.
Although it’s unknown whether the Raptors will finish the job in the Eastern Conference Finals, it’s beginning to appear more and more likely that they’ll advance to set up a date with the Warriors. Regardless of which team emerges, it’s expected that Golden State will be a popular choice to win their fourth NBA championship in the last five years.