by Max Anderson ’18
There is no doubt in my mind that a Western Conference team will win the NBA Championship this season. The only question is which team it will be: The newly formed super team Golden State Warriors, or the always reliable San Antonio Spurs?
After watching the regular season, as well as the first four games of the playoffs, I have to ride with the Warriors. While I believe a Spurs-Warriors Western Conference Finals is inevitable, I just don’t think the Spurs have the firepower to overcome a lethal Warriors team. Yes, the Spurs could stick Kawhi Leonard on a healthy Kevin Durant, but even then Gregg Popovich and company would have to find a way to cover the dynamic duo of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. There is also the fact that NBA Defensive Player of the Year frontrunner Draymond Green is guaranteed to defend Leonard throughout the series. At the end of the day, the Warriors just have too many weapons, which will bring them back to the Finals for the third straight year.
This likely means a third straight NBA Finals showdown with the Cleveland Cavaliers, a team that the Warriors have defeated but also fallen to in the Finals. While it’s difficult to bet against LeBron James, the addition of Durant gives the Warriors an extra boost they didn’t have in last year’s finals. When the dust settles, the Warriors will bring the Larry O’Brien trophy back to San Francisco, besting the Cavs in six games.
by Meaghan Cahill ’20
Being from New England, particularly the Boston area, I would love to pick the Celtics to be the winners of the Eastern Conference NBA Finals. However, realistically, they do not stand a chance with the Cavaliers on their side of the bracket. This is why almost every projected playoff bracket predicts the Cavs to win the finals.
Usually, teams are not supposed to place their success on a single player, however, in the Cavs’ situation, it is almost kind of hard not to. LeBron James has been at the center of the Cavs’ success since he rejoined the team back in 2014 after a four year hiatus with the Miami Heat. His consistentency as an MVP candidate can be seen through his stats: averages 28 ppg, 9 rbp, and 7 apg just during his playoff runs, which consists of six straight NBA finals appearances. James is also responsible for more than half of the Cavs’ points every game.
However, the success of the Cavs in making it to the finals will not just fall on LeBron’s shoulders. They have plenty of veteran experience in the playoffs on the team to assist them in this year’s playoff run. Another major key for the Cavs apart is their roster loaded with shooters in all five positions. With this, they will be able to spread out and have the ability to get points from all areas of the court, whether they come from layups, three-pointers, or jump shots.
With all this said, the Cavs definitely have the odds in their favor to win the NBA Finals.