by Jackson Hongtong ’21
This year the NBA 2018 finals features the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers, for the fourth year in a row. The Warriors have won two of the past three championships against the Cavs, including last year, when the Cavs only won one game in the series. While the Houston Rockets are a great team with the probable MVP James Harden and the Boston Celtics will be contenders for many years to come, mostly everyone expected exactly what was going to be the outcome of the season- another finals between the Warriors and Cavs. The question is, is it bad for the NBA to have the same teams go at it once again?
The simple answer is yes. It is boring to see the same teams battle every year and for it to be so predictable. In the East, Lebron James has made the finals every year for the past eight, so him doing it again this year in a weak Eastern Conference was no surprise. Even though the young Celtics were nine points away from the finals, James and his team still pulled out. For the West, the powerhouse Warriors were clearly the favorite, even though the number one-seeded Rockets played well and took the Warriors to a game seven. The Rockets lost star point guard Chris Paul in game five and as a result, along with going 7-44 from the three-point line in game seven, were eliminated.
The Warriors beat the Cavs last year with ease in five games. Lebron had the supporting cast of all-starts Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. However this year, Irving left to go to the Celtics and Love got injured in game six of the series against the Celtics and is likely to miss some of the series, leaving James with his mediocre teammates. If James won one game with the help of Irving and Love, the odds that the Cavs even steal one game is unlikely.
The argument can be made that at the end of the day, the NBA finals should have the best two teams in each conference which is what this finals gives us. It is also amazing to watch James play every minute of every game and averaging 34 points a game in the playoffs just to keep his team’s championship chances alive at age 33.
But still, the league should be more than a great team (the Warriors) vs a great player (James). This NBA season put on display many breakout rookies, stars, and teams who have bright futures and will change the league sooner rather than later. The next step is for these new faces of the NBA just to make it to the finals. Game one starts on Thursday May 31 at 9 pm in Golden State.