The NBA Finals are set to tip off on Thursday. The Warriors are aiming for the three-peat, while the Raptors are shooting for their first-ever championship. Though people usually debate who will win, today we’ll be focusing on individual stats for the series.
Over on the DK Sportsbook, there are some new markets you can bet on surrounding the NBA Finals. We’ll go through three in this article: Most points, most assists and most rebounds.
Most Points in NBA Finals– Stephen Curry: -134
– Kawhi Leonard: +100
– Klay Thompson: +1600
– Pascal Siakam: +3000
– Draymond Green: +9000
– Kyle Lowry: +10000
Note: All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook
With the news that Golden State’s Kevin Durant will be sidelined for at least Game 1, Steph Curry has been made the favorite to score the most points in the series. In the past four NBA Finals, all of which the Warriors competed in, Steph has never been the leading scorer. With Durant out and no LeBron James to worry about, this season could be Curry’s shot. Since Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals against Houston (the first full game without Durant,) Curry has averaged 35.8 points per game, which would be the highest in the postseason. Kawhi Leonard is averaging 31.2 PPG throughout the entire playoffs, making him the logical alternative to Steph.
But if KD plays at all in the NBA Finals, Leonard would be the beneficiary. There’s a chance that Durant will be back in action for Game 2, considering reports that he traveled with the team to Toronto. There’s also a possibility that DeMarcus Cousins ends his month-and-a-half long absence this series. The more weapons the Warriors bring out, the better the odds are for Kawhi to be the leading scorer in the NBA Finals. But who will be the one to assist all of these points?
Most Assists in NBA Finals– Draymond Green: -200
– Kyle Lowry: +350
– Stephen Curry: +450
– Kawhi Leonard: +5000
– Marc Gasol: +8000
The answer seems a bit obvious. Draymond Green has been an absolute monster for the Warriors in the postseason. He’s relentless on the boards (we’ll get to that,) he plays lock-down defense and he creates space for his teammates. Green’s another player whose stats have benefitted from Durant’s absence. Through Game 5 against the Rockets, Draymond averaged 8.1 assists per game. In the five games to follow, he had 8.4 APG.
While Kyle Lowry has the next best odds, I think the real threat to Green is Curry. Steph has led his team in assists in two of the last four NBA Finals. Considering his recent scoring form, Toronto will likely try to get the ball out of his hands. Don’t be surprised if we see Curry rack up the assists, especially if the Warriors get Durant and Cousins back in the lineup.
Most Rebound in NBA Finals– Draymond Green: -225
– Kawhi Leonard: +280
– Pascal Siakam: +1200
– Marc Gasol: +4300
– Serge Ibaka: +4300
– Stephen Curry: +5400
– Kevon Looney: +10000
Yes, points will be scored. But with field goal attempts come missed shots, and someone will have to grab the rebounds. The clear favorite is Draymond Green, who is averaging 9.9 rebounds per game in the playoffs. The next closest is Kawhi Leonard with 8.8 RPG. But again, when you look at Draymond’s post-KD injury stats, the gap gets even wider. Green’s average has jumped from 9.2 to 11.4 rebounds per game following Durant’s calf injury.
What’s interesting is that there has only been one occurrence of a Warriors player leading any of these three categories in an NBA Finals in the past four seasons, and that was Kevin Durant’s 176 points in the 2016-2017 series. Most people will attribute that to LeBron James’ dominance in every other stat category. But who’s to say that Kawhi Leonard won’t take on a similar form?
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Odds and lines subject to change. See website for actual odds.
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