Rivers predicts Dubs beat Kings in Game 7, go on to win Finals


Austin Rivers has seen this movie many times, so he believes he knows how it ends for the Warriors.

The Minnesota Timberwolves guard took to his podcast this week to throw out some NBA playoff predictions, and he has the Warriors not only beating the Sacramento Kings in seven games but going on to earn their second straight NBA Finals victory.

“When I played for the [Houston] Rockets a couple years ago, we played the Warriors,” Rivers explained on the “Off Guard” podcast. “We went into Golden State, we lost the first two games. Bam, bam. Down 0-2. We went back to Houston, we won the next two. It’s tied, 2-2. It’s very easy – all you have to do is win Game 3, and then once you win Game 3, it’s all a mind game in the playoffs. ...

“So, I knew the Warriors were going to handle business. They won Game 3, and immediately after that, you know it’s now a series.”

Rivers said he originally thought Golden State might fire off four straight wins to take the opening-round playoff series from the Kings after Sacramento won Games 1 and 2, but he knew that even if they didn’t, they still would win in seven. But he didn’t stop at a first-round victory.

“I have the Warriors winning -- truth be told, I don’t have anybody beating the Warriors,” Rivers continued. “I have the Warriors going to the Finals. I have the Warriors winning the Finals. This is just off experience of me playing in the West for the past six, seven years, and this team has been the common denominator, what’s inhibited me, what’s limited me from ever getting to a conference finals. This one team.”

Throughout his 11-year NBA career, Rivers has spent time with Western Conference teams like the Rockets, Timberwolves, Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Clippers and New Orleans Pelicans, facing off against the Warriors in the postseason and catching an up-close glimpse of a dynasty in action.

Rivers twice has lost to the Warriors in the playoffs, with the Rockets in 2019 and with the Nuggets in 2022.

And ahead of Golden State’s Game 7 on Sunday at Golden 1 Center against Sacramento, he sees a fully healthy Warriors squad capable of hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy again.

“And I see all of them healthy right now, and all of them thriving,” Rivers said. “... If they’re healthy, I don’t see someone beating them four times out of seven games, especially at Oracle. I just don’t see it. And it’s not like there’s somebody else in the West that’s so dominant that you could see it happen.”

RELATED: Kings slightly favored vs. Warriors in winner-take-all Game 7

The winner of Game 7 will go on to face the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference semifinals.

Whether that will be the Warriors or Kings remains to be seen, but Rivers certainly has made his mind up.

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