New Year, Same Teams, and Same Results
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So for the 4th straight year LeBron James and the Cavaliers take on the Golden State Warriors, and it's the second straight year this meeting includes the man that left Oklahoma City for greater pastures in Kevin Durant. The question is; how can we get excited for something when the result is already known? As much as I’m a LeBron fan, seeing him playing basically by himself against Golden State will be cringe worthy to watch, but history has been made here as we've never seen 2 teams play each other in 4 consecutive finals. If you’re the other 28 teams how embarrassing is that? Now don’t get me wrong, if Boston had a healthy Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, LeBron probably doesn’t sniff a Finals appearance. Same goes with the Warriors. If Chris Paul was healthy and Houston isn’t playing 2K style basketball they might be in the Finals too. The big word is IF and because of it we're seeing this matchup again.
So how can this be good for the NBA? It’s not. It’s terrible. Sure people will say a rivalry has been formed but we've seen this before. The Warrior’s have won 2 of 3 against LeBron’s Cavaliers. Though just like last year, this years Finals will be lopsided again, in favour of G-State. With no Kyrie and a bunch of old guys on the team that show up once every eight games, I’ll be surprised if the LeBron Cavaliers win a game. Last years viewership hit a record high and for good reason. With both teams splitting a Finals at one a piece you had to see who would take the rubber match. Also with the story of Kevin Durant being vilified joining an already stacked Warriors team, you were intrigued to see if he could finally win a ring. But what’s the story this year? LeBron’s 8th straight Finals appearance? An impressive given he’s 33 and playing out if his mind. Golden State winning a 3rd title in 4 years? A dynasty that’s made? Well ok great but it's not enough when you're playing the same team again and now only has LeBron and a banged up Kevin Love. Imagine seeing the Cavs vs Rockets or Rockets vs Celtics. Even imagine if the Celtic’s were healthy and faced the Warriors. Those three scenarios would been fun to watch. We could have seen some entertaining basketball and a fun Finals, instead we're watching a rerun.
Take a look at the NHL. This years Stanley Cup Finals matchup has two teams that no one expected to be there in the first place. No one expected the Washington Capitals (a choke artist of a team during the Ovechkin era) finally put away past playoff demons and make it to the big show. On the other side, the expansion Las Vegas Golden Knights who had the greatest season in North American sports for a first year team, and exceeded all expectations and now are playing for Lord Stanley's Cup. You can’t compare both sports but the NBA playoffs always seem to be more predictable. I’m more interested in whether or not LeBron stays in Cleveland or plays somewhere else next season. Quite frankly where he plays next year is less predictable than this series. The only chance LeBron has against the Warriors is the whole squad somehow gets injured, funny enough that's more likely than LeBron pulling this miracle off.
So as another NBA Final drift upon us, we can only hope that this is the last time we see Cleveland face Golden State for the Larry O'Brien Trophy. With LeBron’s free agency up in the air Boston and Philly look like contenders in the East, pending his decision though, that could change. We all know Golden State isn’t going away anytime soon but the Rockets are not far behind. So if you’re a fan of the Warriors enjoy another championship while the rest of us will be watching Netflix or doing something that has nothing to do with the NBA Finals.