NBA fans and analysts alike feel somewhat burnt out after three long Golden State Warriors versus the Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Finals series. It’s the same story over and over again. LeBron James is incredible. Stephen Curry is incredible. Golly, they’re all incredible!
Seriously. We have watched a dominating Cleveland era be eclipsed by the faster and smarter Golden State Warriors. Not only did one team make three straight finals trips, but TWO teams did the same years. Never, in any sport, has such a trilogy been told.
Now, that era of Cleveland and Golden State dominating the NBA appears to be over. Golden State will not be finishing first in the Western Conference, nor will Cleveland be a top two seed. Instead, welcome the new era of multiple super teams to the NBA.
In this article, we are going to talk about the six, that’s right, six, teams who could seriously appear in the NBA Finals this season.
Six Teams who could play in the NBA Finals
The number one seed in the Western Conference, and a real dynamic threat. Didn’t you think the Houston Rockets were good last season? Now look at them. Chris Paul is exactly the dynamic player James Harden has needed almost his entire career, and now they lead the top offense in the NBA. Harden is probably about to win MVP this season, and both players will most likely be All-NBA.
The killer of it all is how dynamic they have been late in the season, as they have pulled away from Golden State. They have won their last 11 straight while Golden State has fallen into a 3-7 slump while missing their stars.
Houston is primed and ready to make a serious Finals run, provided that they can stay healthy. It will be interesting to see how they handle the first series of the playoffs when they face the eight seed.
Golden State Warriors
Golden State is Houston’s biggest, and only, threat in the West. Once Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson all return from injury, this team should be back in high form as the playoffs start to get hard.
No one shoots the three like Golden State, and that’s what keeps them in the race. With huge stars like Durant and Curry around, they are always going to be a threat in a seven game series.
They’ve made the last three NBA Finals series, there is no reason to think they can’t make their fourth straight. They have the star power and the drive to pull it off. Now let’s see if they can make history.
Depth has been the key for the Boston Celtics this season. When Gordon Heyward suffered that gruesome injury to begin the season, a lot of analysts counted Boston out. Kyrie Irving put the team on his back and has carried them to the second place in the Eastern Conference, behind monster seasons from Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum.
Even without Brown or Irving or Al Horford, and backup point guard Marcus Smart, Boston has been riding the heels of a five win streak, on the back of rookie sensation Tatum and Marcus Morris. Terry Rozier has been key in the run as well, the third point guard on the depth chart.
Boston should get their key players back in time for the playoffs or during a playoff run. This team is showing no signs of slowing down because of injuries, and thats the scary thought if you are a team fixing to face Boston.
The Toronto Raptors are first in the Eastern Conference, and has been the stronger team through most of the season. Currently sitting at three games ahead of Boston, Toronto is riding on great seasons from Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan and Jonas Valanciunas.
The key to Toronto’s great run this season has been the acquisation of a young and talented bench, keeping the work of Lowry and DeRozan safe and patted, something that they haven’t had their entire career together.
Toronto has often times choked in the playoffs, and the bench is a little too young for most people’s liking. If they can keep their heads together during the playoffs, Toronto will be a serious opponent throughout the playoffs.
It’s very hard to say how Cleveland will do in the playoffs, as they have been terribly streaky since the trade deadline. The team is the most turned over since the trade deadline, and that could seriously effect their chemistry in the middle of a playoff run. The East is now wide open, with a lot of stiff competition.
Cleveland has a lot of work to do and not much time to do it. The team has to come together and work, and now with Head Coach Tyrane Lue out temporarily with health issues, Cleveland is playing better. LeBron looks motivated.
Cleveland is a threat simply because they have the best player in the league and a couple very good players around him, and that makes them a threat. Whether they will pan out and advance to the Finals, that is another question. Don’t count them out just yet.
Yep. That’s right. The Philadelphia 76ers could possibly make a Finals run this season. The East is so wide open, and the margin of error is thick at the moment, making it the 76ers time to shine. They look like a new, revitalized team, and when Joel Embiid comes back from injury, Ben Simmons, JJ Redick, Markelle Fultz and company will be ready to play.
The 76ers are finishing the season strong, running on a current East best nine game win streak. Even without Embiid, they have looked formidable.
The 76ers are the longest shot on this list to make the Finals, but with the right circumstances, Philadelphia could see two of it’s teams playing in the Championship of its league in the same year.
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