With the 2019 NBA Finals set to tip off Thursday night, the latest episode of RADIO.COM’s “Big Time Basketball” podcast dives into the many questions and storylines surrounding the Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors.
The health of Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins is a major subplot. Durant has been ruled out for Game 1 and Cousins was categorized as “questionable.” Brian Scalabrine gave his take on when -- or is that if? -- we will see Durant back in the Finals while suggesting Warriors big man Kevin Looney may be more important to the team than Cousins is.
“I don't think the world actually knows that Looney is better than Cousins and Looney is more important for this team than Cousins,” Scalabrine said. “I think the biggest challenge for Steve Kerr is what to do with DeMarcus Cousins.”
Cousins, a four-time All-Star, has been out since Game 2 of the first round due to a left quad tear. Looney has averaged 7.5 points and 4.9 rebounds in 20.5 minutes per game off the bench while providing active defense.
Host Matt Steinmetz and Scalabrine also discuss what the Raptors need to do differently to stand a chance against the Warriors, whether or not Stephen Curry needs to add a Finals MVP to his resume, what a title without Durant would mean for the legacies of Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green and how Green vs. Kawhi Leonard will be the matchup worth watching throughout the series.
The guys wrap up the podcast with some final thoughts on the never-ending drama surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers.