NBA Finals preview: Can Kawhi Leonard and the Raptors dethrone the Warriors?

    Kawhi Leonard and Stephen Curry lead the Raptors and Warriors into the NBA Finals.

    (CNN)For the first time, the NBA Finals will be played outside the United States.

    One of the teams has been a mainstay, as the Golden State Warriors are aiming for their third title in a row and fourth in the last five years. And for the first time during this stretch, they won't face the Cleveland Cavaliers (or LeBron James, now with the Los Angeles Lakers).
    This year's challenger: the Toronto Raptors, who are making their NBA Finals debut in their 24th season. Game 1 is Thursday at 9 p.m. ET in Toronto and on ABC.
      Canada is in a title drought in the four major North American sports (the NBA, MLB, NHL and the NFL, the last of which has no team north of the US border). Besides Toronto FC winning the MLS Cup in 2017, the country hasn't won a major championship since 1993, when the Montreal Canadiens won the Stanley Cup that June and the Toronto Blue Jays won the World Series in the fall.