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Toronto Raptors

Toronto Raptors sweep regular season series with Golden State Warriors; does it matter?

The Toronto Raptors have swept the regular-season series against the Golden State Warriors.

The next time these teams meet could be in the NBA Finals which begin on May 30, 2019.

It begs the question: what does a regular-season sweep mean for teams that hook up again in the NBA Finals?

MORE: Four takeaways from Toronto's win over Golden State

Finals rematches after a regular season sweep

Dating back to 1980, there have been 19 previous instances in which teams met in the Finals after one of the teams won both rmeetings in the regular season. The team that swept the regular season series went on to post a 12-7 Finals record in the rematch.

That would seem to favour Toronto although if you look more recently, you'll see that the regular-season meetings don't really mean a whole lot. In fact, of the nine such Finals rematches over the last 20 years, five of them were won by the team that got swept in the regular season.

Finals Rematch After Reg Season Sweep
Reg Season Finals Winner
2017-18 Warriors swept Cavaliers Warriors
2015-16 Warriors swept Cavaliers Cavaliers
2012-13 Heat swept Spurs Heat
2010-11 Mavericks swept Heat Mavericks
2008-09 Magic swept Lakers Lakers
2007-08 Celtics swept Lakers Celtics
2006-07 Cavaliers swept Spurs Spurs
2005-06 Mavericks swept Heat Heat
1997-98 Jazz swept Bulls Bulls
1994-95 Magic swept Rockets Rockets
1993-94 Rockets swept Knicks Rockets
1991-92 Bulls swept Blazers Bulls
1988-89 Pistons swept Lakers Pistons
1987-88 Lakers swept Pistons Lakers
1986-87 Lakers swept Celtics Lakers
1985-86 Celtics swept Rockets Celtics
1983-84 Lakers swept Celtics Celtics
1982-83 76ers swept Lakers 76ers
1980-81 Celtics swept Rockets Celtics

All of this is to say... don't overreact to a couple of games played in November and December.

If you're a Raptors fan, you have to be feeling pretty good with how they stacked up in the second matchup, picking up a road win without Kawhi Leonard against a Warriors team almost at full strength.

Unlike the first meeting in Toronto in which Stephen Curry and Draymond Green did not play, the Warriors had all four of their holdover All-Stars play in Golden State. It was just the second time in 13 games this season they lost a game in which Curry, Green, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson all played.

If you're a Warriors fan, you probably aren't worried too much as DeMarcus Cousins is still waiting in the wings. The Warriors team that will take the floor in June is different than the one which suited up at Oracle Arena on Thursday.

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