Which team will win the NBA Finals?


Sports Illustrated

Stephen Curry (Left) and LeBron James (Right) appear to be on a collision course for another NBA finals rematch this season.

Jude Nanaw, Sports X-tra Editor

With the Western Conference Finals series underway and the Eastern Conference Finals picture just a game away from being determined, the NBA is getting closer and closer to crowning a new championship team.

From the very beginning of the season, the heavy favorites to make the finals have been the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors and it appears that the teams have been on a collision course to meet for the third straight year.

In the East, the Cavaliers have been dominant walking through both the Indiana Pacers and Toronto Raptors, sweeping both teams four games to none in the first two playoff series.

“The Cavs are playing some of their best basketball of the year,” freshman Syed Ali said. “From what it looks like, there’s no other team in the Eastern Conference that can stop them.”

The Cavs have been led by four-time MVP and 3-time champion LeBron James who averaged 36 points, five assists and eight rebounds in the team’s series against the Raptors.

Cleveland’s second top scorer currently is point guard Kyrie Irving who has averaged 23 points in the team’s last five games.

“They (Cleveland) are just too good when James, Irving and (Kevin) Love are all healthy,” Ali said.

Kevin Love, the final member in the Cavalier’s “big three” has has decreased production in the playoffs as the power forward averaged only 12 points against Toronto compared to his 19-point regular season average.

The Cavs are set to face the winner of game seven in the Celtics-Wizards series  in the Eastern Conference Finals (Results to the Celtics-Wizards game seven match-up were not available by the publication date).

“I really hope to see the Wizards make the Eastern Conference Finals as they are the hometown team,” sophomore Kyle Dalsimer said.

In the West, the Warriors have also been dominant sweeping their first two opponents, the Portland Trail Blazers and Utah Jazz in their opening two playoff series.

The Warriors have been led by back-to-back MVP Stephen Curry who has averaged 27 points throughout the team’s last five games.

The biggest acquisition last off-season which belonged to the Warriors in the signing of superstar Kevin Durant has added to the buzz around the team resulting in being called “unfair” and “overpowered”.

While it is true that the Warriors have four All-Stars in their starting line-up in Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Curry and Durant, the team did finish at 67-15 this regular season, six games worse than last year.

Durant’s impact has been somewhat limited as well, being second in points per game on the team and averaging 21.6 points in the last five games despite being plagued with injuries throughout the season.

The team faced a San Antonio Spurs team fresh off of a 4-2 series win against the Houston Rockets on May 14 in game one.

The Warriors narrowly defeated the Spurs 113-111 in a game that came down to the wire.

“I think the Warriors will easily make it to the finals and then win the championship,” sophomore Amir Aburish said. “They have too many weapons and no matter who they end up facing, it’s just going to be too hard to defend them.”

With this year heading towards what will most likely be another Cavs-Warriors rematch in the finals, the NBA could be facing much more serious backlash if this same match-up repeats itself over and over again in years to come.

The argument has been made that despite any team that LeBron James is on having a chance to make the finals, the Cavs’ path through the east lacks any real competition.

And despite the Warriors having a slightly more rigorous opponents, the team still does have a load of stars on the that make them well overpowered.

If viewers get more of the same in coming seasons, the NBA may see some of its largest fans begin to lose interest.