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Shaquille O’Neal backs Warriors to win NBA Finals, says ‘they play better when people doubt them’

Shaquille O'Neal, Warriors

The Toronto Raptors were able to close out their series with the Milwaukee Bucks in spectacular fashion to win the East. Regardless, it appears NBA legend and TNT analyst Shaquille O’Neal is still taking the Golden State Warriors in the 2019 NBA Finals.

It is no secret that the Warriors are heavily favored once again despite being short a few superstars. O’Neal feels the Dubs are still playing with something to prove, though.

“I got to go with Golden State,” O’Neal said on Inside the NBA after the Raptors beat the Bucks in Game 6. “They play better when people doubt them. They play better when people disrespect them.”

There had been plenty of speculation regarding the Warriors chances once forward Kevin Durant went down versus the Houston Rockets in the conference semifinal. Golden state answered the call by subsequently closing out the series against Houston and then sweeping the Portland Trail Blazers. The most impressive aspect of the Portland series was that they managed to overcome major deficits time and time again despite the absence of Durant.

O’Neal later added that players like guard Klay Thompson and forward Draymond Green are still playing with a chip on their shoulder after being snubbed from the All-NBA team. It is safe to say that both Thompson and Green would agree with this sentiment after their recent reactions to the voting results.

The only way to alleviate the loss of missing out on such an honor would be replacing it with a fourth championship. At this point, one would be hard-pressed to find a basketball fan outside of Milwaukee that disagrees with O’Neal’s prediction.