2019 NBA playoffs predictions, brackets: Experts pick Warriors to win title, though Raptors may have something to say about it

The NBA Finals tipped off on Thursday night in Toronto, Ontario, Canada as the Raptors won their first ever game in the NBA Finals by taking down the Golden State Warriors by the score of 118-109. 

In the end, the biggest star of the night was none other than Pascal Siakam as the likely winner of the league's Most Improved Player award converted on 14 of his 17 attempts from the field for a team-high 32 points to go along with eight rebounds and five assists. 

Kawhi Leonard made his presence felt as well by contributing 23 points of his own to go along with eight rebounds and five assists while Marc Gasol had his best game of the postseason by finishing with 20 points on just 10 attempts from the field. 

Stephen Curry poured in 34 points for the Warriors in the loss but, in the end, it was not enough to get the job done for the defending champions as they dropped their first game in the NBA Finals since 2017.

Before the playoffs tipped off, we asked our panel of NBA experts to fill out brackets and tell us who'll end up winning the whole thing. The unanimous answer came as a surprise to absolutely nobody: the Warriors. However, there was a lot of disagreement about which team will face them in the Finals. 

Although all of our experts correctly picked Golden State to reach the Finals, other predictions didn't pan out so well. Here's a look at how the CBS Sports NBA experts saw this postseason playing out.

Raja Bell

NBA Finals: Warriors over Raptors

Upsets: Thunder over Trail Blazers, Thunder over Nuggets, Raptors over Bucks

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Bill Reiter

NBA Finals: Warriors over Bucks

Upsets: Thunder over Trail Blazers, Thunder over Nuggets

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Reid Forgrave

NBA Finals: Warriors over Raptors

Upsets: Thunder over Trail Blazers, Thunder over Nuggets, Raptors over Bucks

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James Herbert

NBA Finals: Warriors over Raptors

Upsets: Thunder over Trail Blazers, Thunder over Nuggets, Raptors over Bucks

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Brad Botkin

NBA Finals: Warriors over Bucks

Upsets: Trail Blazers over Nuggets

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Colin Ward-Henninger

NBA Finals: Warriors over Raptors

Upsets: Thunder over Trail Blazers, Thunder over Nuggets, Raptors over Bucks

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Jack Maloney

NBA Finals: Warriors over Bucks

Upsets: Thunder over Trail Blazers

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Christopher Bengel

NBA Finals: Warriors over Raptors

Upsets: Thunder over Trail Blazers, Spurs over Nuggets, Pacers over Celtics, Raptors over Bucks

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Michael Kaskey-Blomain

NBA Finals: Warriors over 76ers

Upsets: Thunder over Trail Blazers, Spurs over Nuggets, 76ers over Raptors, 76ers over Bucks

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DJ Siddiqi

NBA Finals: Warriors over Bucks

Upsets: Thunder over Trail Blazers, Thunder over Nuggets

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