With this being the fourth straight season that the NBA is showcasing the same product in their championship game, it can be easy to tell yourself and others how boring, rigged or predictable this series might be. I’m telling you don’t listen to that voice! Here’s why:
5. The History.
Since the 2014-2015 season we have seen the Cleveland Cavaliers take on the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals every year, and there has been something great about each individual series leading up to this one.
Each team has had their turn taking home the trophy.
NBA Champions last 3 seasons:
Warriors- 2017 (Finals MVP: K. Durant)
Cavaliers- 2016 (Finals MVP: L. James)
Warriors- 2015 (Finals MVP: A. Iguodala)
The first finals matchup between these teams was more than you could ask for.
LeBron James and the Miami Heat had just come off a devastating Finals loss to Kawhi Leonard and the Spurs the year prior. After returning home with the Cavs in his first season back, he headed for finals redemption against an emerging Golden State team that took it to the next level after letting go of head coach Marc Jackson for Steve Kerr after Jackson had failed to get the Warriors past that same Kawhi Leonard Spurs team mentioned above.
Golden State took a quick lead, winning the first game and going up 1-0. The Cavaliers took the Warriors by storm, stealing game 2 in Oracle and then going back home to take game 3. The Cavs looked like they were in a really good position to win the title, but the defense of Finals MVP Andre Iguodala on LeBron James played a huge role in Warriors winning the next three games in a row, taking the series 4-2.
The second was one for the books...
In 2016 we witnessed arguably the greatest comeback in NBA Finals history. The series couldn’t have started any worse for the Cavaliers. They were staring elimination right in the eye by game 5 but didn’t fumble. The Cavaliers were able to overcome a 3-1 deficit, something that has only happened 11 other times to beat the Warriors in game 7 on the road. They would become the first team to ever accomplish that in an NBA finals.
By this time the formerly crowned MVP had now teamed up with the Warriors to seek revenge on Cleveland for stealing the cloth right from under them the year before. After watching a full season of Golden State basketball after acquiring Kevin Durant, you knew that the chances of LeBron James winning back to back championships for the city of Cleveland were slim to none.
That is essentially what we got, as the Warriors went on to hand the Cavaliers a gentlemen’s sweep, winning game 5 on their home court, earning their second championship in 3 years. Kevin Durant would get his first.
Now, if that history alone isn’t enough to convince you to tune in, let me give you a few more reasons why you should.
4. LeBron James’ Historic playoff run overall and this post season
Even if you are not a huge LeBron James fan, this continued playoff run that he has had going on for almost a decade now has been awesome to watch. To make the Finals eight straight seasons no matter what conference or cast is surrounding you is one hell of an accomplishment.
Put his overall playoff run aside and look at what he has done just this post season in his 15th year. In times where players have shown decline during the tail end of their careers, James is proving the opposite. He is averaging 34 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 8.8 assists per game this post season. That’s the second most PPG in the playoffs in his entire career. He’s hit multiple game winners, swept the 1st place team in the East, and led his team to multiple game 7 wins, all with arguably the worst supporting cast he’s ever played with.
If LeBron James isn’t enough to make you want to watch the last games played in the NBA this season, I’m sure you will want to check in to find out who will win this years Finals MVP, right?
3. Curry or Klay for Finals MVP?
If I were to go back to 2015 and tell you that Golden State would be going to their 4th straight finals in 2018, and neither Curry nor Thompson would have finals MVP to their name yet, would you believe me?
I think this is Curry’s time to hoist that hardware, and you will want to make sure you do not miss the performances he must put on to earn it.
2. This may very well be the last time we see Golden State and Cleveland face off in the finals for a long time.
As tired as you may be of the repetitive matchup over the years, this may be the last one. Watching it for the sole fact that you won’t be able to again is enough reason. With free agency looming, every Cavaliers fan is preparing themselves for another departure of their star player, and we don’t really need to get into what the Cavaliers will look like after that.
1. Talent and Wonder
Although the teams in competition might be a little one sided, that doesn’t take away from all the greatness on the floor. Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and hopefully Kevin Love (concussion protocol) and Andre Iguodala (knee). That’s 7 more reasons why you should watch. If you love basketball in general, watching Golden State do what they do is worth getting up for. When they are on their game it’s like watching a piece of art in motion, and watching one of the greats in LeBron James try and combat it once again? Can’t miss it.
The Houston Rockets were a half away from beating the defending champs in the WCF. I’m not saying Cleveland is Houston or that they are as good or close to it, but no one on Houston is LeBron James and you never know what he might be capable of in a 7 games series.
Needless to say, whether you watch or not, everyone else will be. The NBA Finals set 20-year high ratings last year and I don’t see that changing even with a fourth straight matchup.
Featured image credit: Daily Express
Video credit: Fruit Hoops