Shout-out to all basketball fans that have more than one finals in mind this stressful season. That’s right, I’m talking about the highly anticipated NBA finals showdown! Where the best of the East meets West for a nail-biting best out of seven series to determine the 2017 NBA champions. However, there is a noticeable difference in the reaction towards this year’s playoff season as compared to previous years and that is-the lack of it. Here we are, a week away from the NBA Finals, and two teams have yet to lose. Who are they? The same two teams everybody would have predicted to be undefeated and heading into the Finals before the season even started. None other than the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors. The two teams that went head to head in the 2016 finals…and in the finals before that. Both teams are cruising through the conference finals with little to no resistance.
NBA 2016 FINALS Cavaliers vs.Warriors
While no one expected the Boston Celtics to steal the first seed of the Eastern conference during regular season, the Cavaliers’ near 50 point blow-out win on Celtics’ homecourt last Saturday was nothing short of embarrassing. This extended Cleveland’s lead in the series to 2-0. Which means it’s safe to say that the chances of the down-trodden Boston Celtics making it to the finals this year is as non-existent as you getting enough sleep during deadlines week. The San Antonio Spurs on the other hand, would have given the Warriors a run for their money had not star player and MVP in-the-running, Kawhi Leonard, aggravated his existing ankle injury that ruled him out for game three, consequently leading to a recurring loss for the 2014 NBA champions and a 3-0 running lead for the Warriors.
And so, in what will likely be a “history repeats itself” situation, the Cavaliers and the Warriors will find themselves battling it out for the championship title for a third consecutive year in a row. Except this time, the spotlight won’t be centred on just Stephen Curry and Lebron James, as we take into consideration the interesting additions to both teams. After the Warriors blew a 3-0 lead in the 2016 NBA finals thus allowing the Cavaliers to claim their first ever championship, the Dubs wasted no time in pulling out all the stops and recruited the 2013 MVP from OKC Thunder in what was perhaps the most controversial trade of the season. With another power card in the Warriors existing hand, things will likely be more challenging for the reigning champs to retain their title. But of course, the Cavaliers have their own secret weapon waiting to be unleashed into finals territory- the fifth all-time 3-point scoring legend, Kyle Korver. With his offensive ability, the former Atlanta Hawks shooting guard seemed to fit right into the structure of the Cavaliers, proving himself an asset to look out for.
As for the rest of the conference finals, fans can expect to see more lopsided scores and blow out wins. In short, there won’t be any blood-rushing, heart-stopping buzzer beaters till the championship finals begin. Durant offers a simple solution to the disappointed fans who were hoping for a wire-to-wire series filled with overtimes and playback calls, “If you don’t like it, don’t watch it.”
By Esther Liew
Photographs- Google Images