Sometimes you just have to call them like you see them. Remember the good old Raptor days when you couldn’t wait for preseason games to be over so that you can get to the regular season to the games that mattered? In the last few years, one of the drawbacks of being a very good team is that as a fan, now you couldn’t wait for the regular season to end so that you can get to the playoffs because those are the games that really mattered! But now, aren’t most basketball fans saying, forget the preseason and forget the regular season. In fact now, you can’t wait for the first three rounds of the playoffs to end so that you know, you can get to the Finals, those games that really, really matter?
As much as we love dynasties in sports, they do for the most part, make up for quite a boring playoff run. None more so than this years NBA Finals. Don’t get me wrong, there is still time for some last minute excitement (wake up Cavaliers, I’m talking to you) but even that might not even be enough to change the ranking of this year’s playoffs from an absolute dud. How did it get so bad?
— Inquirer Libre (@inquirer_libre) May 27, 2017
Well, heading into these Finals, the Eastern Conference Champions had a 12-1 record – the one loss coming to the Boston Celtics on a night LeBron James was human. In the opening round the Pacers surprisingly kept it close and I think that has more to do with the Cavs still thinking it was the regular season more than anything else. But then…then they decided to play basketball. 7 out of the next 8 victories came by double digits with most of those game being as exciting as JR Smith…with his shirt on. Yawwwwn. If you stretched the truth a little, you might even say that the last two games in Toronto were exciting, but only because, well, even down 20 we thought the Raptors had a chance. Well, we hoped anyway.
This conference should really be called the King James conference as he personally has owned the East. This is the 5th, 6th, no make that the 7th Finals in a row that he has been in. Yes, he has only won 3 of them and has a long hill to climb for his 4th, but there is no denying his greatness. If he can once again orchestrate a comeback and win this series, well then, move over Kobe, move over Magic, and yes, move over MJ for there is a new sheriff in town. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. There is still the matter of the Golden State Warriors.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 6, 2017
The Warriors have arguably been the best team in the past three years. Their record breaking 73 win season was tainted last year when they lost to the Cavs. So it is certain that they are playing with a chip on their shoulder. Oh yeah, one more thing. That 73 win team decided they needed something a little more so they added Kevin Durant. Coming into these finals, the Warriors did one better than the Cavs winning 12 straight games. All but 2 were won by double digits which goes to show you once again how dominant this team is. San Antonio came the closest to defeating Golden State losing by only 2 points after they had a huge lead in Game 1. The Spurs lost Kawhi Leonard that night and when they did, their 25 point lead vanished. During the next 3 games, the Warriors won by a combined 62 points. If you needed to make a case for Kawhi Leonard being the Most Valuable Player in the league, nothing is more telling than that.
— NBA (@NBA) June 5, 2017
It is therefore no surprise that Cleveland and Golden State have each reached the finals. What may be a surprise is that this is the first time in history that the same two teams have met three times in a row. Odd, with all that Laker/Celtic history, that this hasn’t happened before. Weirder still however, is it might not stop there either. Does anyone think there is a team in either conference that can challenge them? Could there be a 4th or a 5th consecutive finals with both teams? I certainly can see that happening.
We have already spoken about how dominant LeBron James is in the East and it doesn’t look like he is slowing down any. On the West <sigh>, when Golden State lured Durant away from OKC, it was with the promise that they would win championshipS together. Yes, the “s” was capitalized on purpose. They are looking to win a handful of trophies and their players are also in their prime. Quite frankly, with the way the NBA is structured right now, it certainly looks like it’s heading in that direction. So we may have plenty more of this in the years to come. Is that exciting?
Well, unless you root for Cleveland or San Francisco, probably not.
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