BallnRoll’s Official Rankings of all 33 Players in the 2019 NBA Finals
Yup, I might be a psycho, but if it means finding a way to get Jordan Loyd into a postseason article, then so be it.
Loyd, who made an appearance on a Raptors playoff shirt, a mural in downtown Toronto, and above all was the infamous “hold the team back” hype man during Kawhi Leonard’s shot deserves a shout out for being the key chemistry guy on this Raptors team.
Of course, if he gets a shout out, every deserves one too, which is why this here is BallnRoll’s official rankings of all 33 players who will be present for the 2019 NBA Finals. Breaking things down into the scrubs, the second unit, the key role players, and the stars, BallnRoll will have you covered on all things Finals!
33) Jordan Loyd, Toronto Raptors
32) Marcus Derrickson, Golden State Warriors
31) Eric Moreland, Toronto Raptors
30) Jacob Evan III, Golden State Warriors
29) Chris Boucher, Toronto Raptors
28) Damion Lee, Golden State Warriors
27) Malcolm Miller, Toronto Raptors
The Extra Depth
26) Jeremy Lin, Toronto Raptors
25) Jodie Meeks, Toronto Raptors
24) Damian Jones, Golden State Warriors
23) Patrick McCaw, Toronto Raptors
22) Alfonzo McKinnie, Golden State Warriors
21) Andrew Bogut, Golden State Warriors
The Second Units
20) Jonas Jerebko, Golden State Warriors
19) Jordan Bell, Golden State Warriors
18) Quinn Cook, Golden State Warriors
17) Norman Powell, Toronto Raptors
16) OG Anunoby, Toronto Raptors
15) Kevon Looney, Golden State Warriors
14) Shaun Livingston, Golden State Warriors
13) Fred VanVleet, Toronto Raptors
The Key Role Players
12) Danny Green, Toronto Raptors
11) Serge Ibaka, Toronto Raptors
10) Marc Gasol, Toronto Raptors
9) Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors
8) Andre Iguodala, Golden State Warriors
7) DeMarcus Cousins, Golden State Warriors
Is Boogie dead or something? Is he going to play in the Finals?
It is obviously to predict how DeMarcus Cousins will play if he returns from a second series leg injury in the past year. Nevertheless, when healthy, Cousins is one of the most dominant big men in basketball, with one of the most versatile skillsets for a player of his size in NBA history.
The only question that remains is Cousins’ health and his ability to play in the NBA Finals remains an uncertainty.
6) Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors
The Western Conference Finals showed just how crucial Draymond Green is to the Warriors success.
Very similar to the effect Lowry has on the Raptors, Green doesn’t always wow people with his box scores, but it’s his basketball savvy and toughness that helps provide the champion Warriors with that extra edge. In the absence of Cousins, Durant, and later on Iguodala, Green stepped up proving that he is one of the game’s best while simultaneously most underrated players.
With five triple-doubles in this postseason, two came on the road against the Blazers to help the Warriors secure a series sweep.
5) Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors
The unsung hero of the Toronto Raptors, Kyle Lowry is an analytics darling, which means he is loved by some and misunderstood by many.
Nevertheless, in the Raptors vs. Bucks series, not a single basketball fan, savant or otherwise could dispute how important Lowry is to this team. Doing all the little things to help his team win, Lowry, with a sprained thumb no less, was scoring the ball too. Averaging just over 17 points per game on a true shooting percentage of 71%, Lowry was aggressive on both ends of the court and continued being the very reliable backbone of the Raptors in the conference finals.
4) Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors
More people should talk about Klay Thompson because he truly is one of the game’s best players.
No one realizes it because of the stars around him, but his All-NBA team snub shows how few people realize how great he truly is. Already one of the greatest shooters to ever live, Thompson is also one of the game’s best defenders. A consummate professional, the sacrifices Thompson has made to take a backseat has allowed the Warriors to elevate themselves into dynasty conversations.
3) Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
Steph Curry has gotten a fair share of criticism for his level of play in these playoffs, but when Kevin Durant went down due to injury, Curry turned it up a notch and reverted back to two-time league MVP Steph.
The Blazers simply had no answer for Curry and the best shooter in the world made them pay for it. The Raptors will obviously be able to throw better defenders on Curry than the Blazers did, but that should not change the fact that Curry is the greatest shooter in NBA history and will most definitely be a problem.
2) Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors
When healthy, Durant is one of the most lethal scorers in NBA history.
With him out, the Warriors have turned to a more fluid style of offense, dispatching the Portland Blazers due to incredible offensive schemes and veteran savvy. When Durant is in the fray, the Warriors can simply beat teams on sheer talent. And let’s not forget, before Durant injured his calf, he has scored at least 30 points seven of his 11 playoff games this season.
A talent unlike any we’ve ever seen before, if Durant is to return for the NBA Finals, the Raptors will be in for a very stressful couple of weeks.
1) Kawhi Leonard, Toronto Raptors
Now, I am not completely ready to hand the reigns of best in the world over to Kawhi Leonard.
While it’s funny how quickly people not only forget about LeBron James, but toss Durant to the side, something must be said about Leonard’s play in these playoffs. His performances on both sides of the basketball have drawn comparisons to Michael Jordan and while Leonard is clearly not on that level, he has been the best performer in this postseason.
That being said, to me, the major swinging point in this toss up is health. Leonard is entering the Finals healthy and ready to compete for another championship, while Durant’s status for Warriors-Raptors matchup remains unclear. If the injury is in fact achilles-related, we may not see Durant in these Finals at all and even a strained calf muscle is considered a serious injury.
Until we figure out what the hell is going on with Durant and see him return to drop 50, the edge must go to The Klaw.