Nine reasons you MUST watch these NBA Finals

If you’ve been paying any attention to this website over the past few months, or had any sort of conversation with me in person over that same time frame, you’d know exactly how pumped I am about these upcoming NBA Finals.  I’m that Star Wars geek in full Yoda gear at Comic Con waiting in line for Mark Hamill’s autograph.  I’m that dweeb with the pocket protector and thick-rimmed glasses unable to muster the words to talk to the pretty girl.  I am that audiophile waiting to hear what songs Post-Modern Jukebox will cover next.  That’s right.  I am your friendly neighborhood NBA nerd and I cannot WAIT for these Finals!

Since Commissioner Silver is too busy misremembering how to properly market the league, I am here to get you as amped as I am about these Finals.

If you were in any way debating whether or not to watch this series, please allow me a brief moment to sway you in the right direction.

Here are nine perfectly valid reasons you should watch these NBA Finals.

One –> This has never happened before.

Not long ago, I explained how this rivalry is unlike any other in NBA history.  Never before have the same two teams met in back-to-back-to-back Finals.  Golden State won two years ago; the Cavs won last year.  This year will be a grudge match for the ages.

It’s hard to believe with all the great teams in history that this is the first time this has ever happened.  Celtic-Lakers never met three straight times.  Neither did the Bulls dynasties of the nineties or the Celtics dynasties of the sixties.  No NBA rivalry has ever had as much prime time on the line as Cavs-Warriors.

To make matters even more delectable, these two teams show no signs of slowing down.  The Warriors have their core locked up and LeBron and company have given no indication they won’t stop chasing history.

The league might be top-heavy therefore making the rest of the playoffs less entertaining but I like to think of their combined 24-1 post-season records as the calm before the storm.

In other words, don’t hate the great.  These Finals will be historic.

Two –> The NBA needs a good rivalry. 

Former Laker great Shaquille O’Neal once called his Western Conference opponent the Sacramento “Queens.”  Note: they’re actually called the Kings.  He later apologized for comments some deemed insensitive.  Ironically, he is currently part owner of said “Queens.”  Funny how things come full circle.

Regardless of how misguided you might find Shaq’s comments… or his apology… there hasn’t been an NBA rivalry you can sink your teeth into since then.

We need rivalries.  They add spice to what we’re watching.  This series will have all that spice with a side of Tabasco.

The Celtics and Lakers played each other so many times they still have an entrenched disdain for one another.  One need look no further than the recent lottery draft where the Celtics stole the number one draft pick away from Los Angeles.  Magic Johnson looked on in disgust.  He hasn’t played against them in twenty-five years.  That’s some healthy loathing.

Earlier this season, in response to last season’s Finals loss, Draymond Green said he wanted to “destroy the Cavs, to annihilate them no ifs, ands or buts about it.”

That’s what I’m talking about.  Tabasco.

 3 –> You are watching three of the best players in the history of the game.  (That doesn’t include Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Kevin Love or any of the bench players.)

I started watching the NBA back when the Celtics and Lakers owned the league.  I couldn’t relate to either team.  In fact, as a young adult, I found those series quite boring.  Little did I know I was watching some of the greatest basketball ever played.  This series has a little of that in it.

Years ago, to commemorate the NBA’s 50th anniversary, the league came up with a list of its 50 best players.  That list is now outdated but those Celtics-Lakers Finals had seven players on that list.  Nearly one-fifth of the league’s greatest all-time talent played in those series.

Say what you will about that now twenty-year old Top 50 list but you can safely put Kevin Durant, Steph Curry and LeBron James on it and bump whomever you want off.

That doesn’t include other All-Stars and potentially future Hall of Famers like Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green or any of the bench/role players who might not be all-time greats but who have been specifically signed for just this moment and are most certainly capable in their own right.

There will be some talent on the floor these NBA Finals.  It might not be ’86 Celtics-Lakers good but it ranks pretty high up on the list.

Four –> There Will Be Blood

Old school NBA fans miss the occasional clothesline.  For those of you who do your laundry indoors, please allow Kevin McHale and Kurt Rambis to explain what a clothesline is.

For the same reason NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is easing up on the NFL’s end zone celebrations #gestapo, the NBA should also look into how referees officiate these Finals.  Things could get testy.

The Bad Boy Detroit Pistons took gang violence on the court to a new level.  Former commissioner David Stern did everything in his power to ensure his sport didn’t turn into ice hockey and didn’t turn off viewers.  Benches can no longer clear and punches can no longer be thrown without fear of fine and suspension.

No one is suggesting the league return to its more prehistoric form.  That being said, some shit will go down in this series.  These two teams have developed that sort of Celtics/Lakers disdain.  Golden State wants what the Cavs have, the title they took from them last year.  The Cavs are hardly about to give that up.

I’m not sure who it will be.  I’m not sure when it will happen.  But rest assured at one point in what’s bound to be a grueling Finals, two players from opposing teams will get in each other’s faces, increasing the intensity of what’s sure to be a fantastic series.

Five –> You are watching the greatest post-season scorer of all-time… so lighten up.

I’m not here to compare Michael Jordan and LeBron James.  You revisionist historians have already crowned Michael the best ever and closed the discussion for good. I’m not here to reopen it.  It’s a ludicrous argument anyway.  Suffice it to say that both Michael and LeBron are two of the best ever.

That being said, there is a new leading all-time scorer in NBA playoff history and his name is LeBron James.

Oh, did I mention he’s only 32 and not done yet?  Not by a long-shot.  This guy could conceivably score A THOUSAND MORE PLAYOFF POINTS before it’s all said and done.

We’ve never seen anything like this guy and won’t again any time soon.  He might not have Jordan’s six rings (yet) or his perfect record in the Finals but he’s pretty damn entertaining.

For this series, put aside your bias and watch how he controls the court.  You might find he’s a lot closer to Jordan than you care to admit.

Six –> Matchups

Do you mean to tell me that LeBron James and Kevin Durant will be covering each other?  Yes please.

Kyrie going against Steph Curry, point guard to point guard, mano a mano.

Yea, just…. Just, yea.

You can tell I’m excited, can’t you?

Seven –> Both teams are perfectly likeable… and hate-able

The images of today’s NBA players are carefully crafted.  Before Michael Jordan, NBA players were awkwardly tall guys in short shorts and tank tops.  After Jordan, basketball players became businessmen, perfectly aware how their image could make them more than they ever dreamed. James, Curry and Durant resemble that to a tee.  Kevin Durant’s net worth is $120 million. LeBron James’ is over twice that.  This summer, Steph Curry will sign a new contract with the Golden State Warriors worth over $200 million.

There’s a reason they’re getting paid that amount of money.  We like them and hate them in the same breath.

The Warriors went from being the newest big thing and everybody’s favorite team to Are They Actually The Bad Guys in all this?  Draymond Green has kicked opposing players in the nuts, repeatedly, and Kevin Durant, whilst a freak on the court isn’t always the friendliest guy in the world.  Just ask Drake and that Utah mascot.  On the opposite sideline, we are well aware of how many basketball fans hate LeBron.

These two teams have flip-flopped identities.  Both have been the knights in shining armor and both have worn the black hat.

Keep in mind, you don’t have to choose a side but you do have to watch.  Rooting for good basketball is a perfectly viable third option.

Eight –> Someone has to win… and lose.

That’s the sad part about this whole thing.  Ultimately, it will be over.  One team will conduct that dejected post-series interview about how hard they worked to get to this point and how devastating a loss this is.  Meanwhile, in the opposing locker room, champagne will be flowing and one team will have etched its place in NBA history.

But….

Nine –> Which team will that be?  Your guess is as good as mine

That’s the main reason I love sports: the unscripted drama.  This isn’t your soap opera, this isn’t your reality TV show.  This isn’t your talk show and this isn’t your tear-jerker.  My friend, this is all of the above.

You have two hyper-competitive athletes (if you don’t believe me, research their workout regimens) chasing after their place in history.  They and their forces stand in each other’s way.  Only one team can win.

Golden State’s roster has been carefully designed to topple Cleveland.  Similarly, the Cavaliers have done their part to ensure they are in the best possible position to repeat.

Golden State is a substantial favorite because they have home court advantage but if you think their winning a championship is a foregone conclusion, you’d be mistaken.

I’m not making any predictions as to which team will win this thing.  I will predict, however, with indubitable accuracy, that I know one man who will be watching intently, hours of pre-game coverage, hours of post-game interviews and nary a second missed.

I cannot fucking wait!


25 thoughts on “Nine reasons you MUST watch these NBA Finals

  1. The fans are yearning for a rivalry, equal of the great Celtics vs Lakers’ rivalry. Yet, that will never be the case , not when we are likely see a merry go round of players, changing teams and chasing after a ring.

    Do you remember LBJ’s promise to the Miami Heat fans ? Not one , not two , not three, but quite possibly six or seven rings. Hell, the fans bought into that #ull$hit , hook , line and sinker . Now what ?

    This upcoming NBA Finals will have its controversy , just as with last year’s dubious series and some really questionable officiating. The NBA hierarchy remains complacent as ever , with Adam Silver taking over from David Stern , an executive who could see nothing wrong being done by the referees even when it was clear many of their decisions were not only questionable , but also favored high-profiled players. The NBA has now become a league where it lacks real credibility.

    What have the fans really got to look forward to with the upcoming NBA Finals ? More hype than usual or simply a series , that could very well be decided by the officiating ?

  2. Better to have loved and lost, Al. Even though LeBron’s stint in Miami was short, I’m pretty sure Heat fans wouldn’t trade that for the world.

    I try not to sound like an old crotchety fucker when I write these things but look, what has Celtics-Lakers done for us lately? While the Celtics are finally relevant once again (barely, considering how Cleveland dispatched them), the Lakers have been a laughing stock.

    It’s time to celebrate the new and this rivalry is juicy!

    This is a perfectly marketable series with perfectly marketable players. If ratings don’t show that, I blame our current commish. Perhaps he should call up his predecessor if he’s having a problem marketing the league’s top stars.

  3. The Bostton Celtics aren’t yet ready for the big time. Yet that team is close, because what they now need is someone to complement the core of that roster of Isiah Thomas , Avery Bradley and Al Horford. Another high scoring option is needed on the team and I am sure GM Danny Ainge is cognizant of this. I just hope that he doesn’t waste the first overall pick drafting Lonzo Ball. It would be a complete frigging waste on so many levels, without having to deal with the player’s father.

    On a sidenote, but who are the idiots who make up the adjudicators for the NBA Coach of The Year ? How the hell can they overlook what Brad Stevens head coach of the Boston Celtics , what he was able to achieve and then believe Erik Spoesltra was a far better candidate ? Clearly , these idiots have no frigging clue whatsoever .

    This rivalry between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors is appealing, but it won’t be around all that long. LBJ is now in his fourteenth year of his career. At best , I can’t see him being around for another five or six years. Besides , with the way the NBA salary cap is now set , I am not so sure Dan Gilbert will be willing to break the bank to acquiesce to James’ future needs. Look at the situation of Chris Paul with the Los Angeles Clippers and what it could mean for the franchise financially , if they seek to resign the point guard. A five-year $205 million , five-year deal ? Makes you wonder what Kyrie Irving’s own demands might be, when he’s due to become a free agent.

    Tophatal …………..

  4. Pep,
    I was prepared to provide substantial commentary in the hopes of adding to your excitement. However, as I read through tophatal’s comment, I found myself in total agreement. There was clearly some questionable officiating last year and I have some confirmation from a friend who is actuallly a ref. That not withstanding, I don’t believe there will be another rivalry like the Lakers,(my forever team), and Celtics. The league, and the money, just to name two variables, is so convoluted that it will be hard to sustain champions the way they used to be. For the marketing piece, Silver clearly needs to make the season more watchable so fans actually have something to watch leading up to the playoffs and ultimately the finals. This scenario was all to predictable. So where is the incentive?
    I believe it will at least be interesting, and I guess I will look at the first two games to see if the same officiating takes place, favoring either side. Let them play, call what you must, but be fair about it. I’d love to watch more ball the way I used to, and having had some ball 🏀 skills myself really do appreciate what goes into playing hard. I want the players to play like it means something and stop whining when they don’t get a call and then have the refs provide a “make up” call shortly thereafter. Oh pardon me. It seems I’m rambling…I’ll just stick to my original premise…what he said!

  5. Al…

    I’m not overly offended by the Spoelstra pick. Let’s be honest. That Miami team was gutted. I didn’t expect them to do nearly as well as they did. But you’re right though. Stevens.

    Re: the Finals, I don’t see anyone besting these two teams next year either and that includes Chris Paul going to San Antonio… allegedly.

    Who do you see in the league right now that can even come anywhere close to knocking off a healthy Golden State or Cleveland next year by adding a few pieces?

    Heck, I’m down for Round Four. They made seven Rockys and a jillion Star Wars. Why not Cleveland-Oakland IV?

  6. Mony…

    I’ll play a little devil’s advocate with ya’.

    Did you not think these two teams were the best in the league? Aren’t you happy about the grudge match we’re about to witness with these two teams being for the most part healthy when they weren’t in the past two Finals?

    I think we tend to look at the past with rose-colored glasses. I mean, come on. It wasn’t like Jordan wasn’t getting calls from the refs. He got the benefit of most every call there was.

    I haven’t gone back and watched the ’86 Finals lately but I’m sure Bird, Magic and Kareem were also getting the benefit of the doubt against lesser stars.

    I think in this series, the star power will even out. They have replay to ensure the right call is made. Refs have always rewarded the aggressor. I’m not down for whining and I’m okay with refs T-ing people up for doing so.

    Here’s hoping talent, and not whistles, determine the series.

  7. I just wish they would get started already. Sorry, can’t root for Cleveland although I won’t lose much sleep no matter who pulls this one off.

    Guess I’ll wait another day by going to the Atlanta Dave Matthews concert tonight. Hope I don’t get a flagrant foul called on me for that one.

  8. Chris

    The only thing that’ll lead to either of these two teams being dethroned next year will be the whether or not the team owners are willing to sign their biggest stars to long-term deal. Bear in mind the NBA salary continually rises, but at the same so do the demands of the players and the ever competitive economic market within the sport. Just look at the situation concerning Chris Paul , based on the collective bargaining agreement if he re-signs with the Los Angeles Clippers , a deal of 5 years, $41 million a year would have to be on the table . Clippers’ owner Steve Ballmer , we know can afford that, but it would also affect the franchise’s bottom line and have implications concerning the luxury tax.

    The winner in game one of the NBA Finals will be in the driver’s seat and I expect the series to be a close one.

    With regard to the nominees for the Coach of The Year Award , Erik Spoelstra wasn’t a deserving nominee. There were other notable candidates who did far more, with even less talent than the Miami Heat.

    Your thoughts on the MLB hierarchy giving the Miami Marlins $700,000 in the aftermath of the death of pitcher Jose Fernandez ? The player was killed in a boating accident, where alcohol was involved and he was the actual pilot of the vessel ; where he and two others were killed. Once again, proving Commissioner Rob Manfred and his cohorts , are a bunch of frigging @#sholes. Next up, expect the PGA Tour to give Tiger Woods $500,000 for pain and suffering for driving while being a Cabal-Asian . Where’s there a sense of accountability for one’s actions ?

  9. Kudos to Mike Brown out-coaching Tyronn Lue as the Golden State Warriors blasted the Cleveland Cavaliers off the court at Oracle Arena on Thursday night. The Cavs only had three players reach double-figures in scoring, while committing twenty turnovers , eight of those coming from LeBron James. This game wasn’t even close and the series itself if based on Thursday night’s performance will be a cakewalk for the Warriors, sweeping Cleveland , 4-0 .

    Revenge is a dish best served cold and for Mike Brown last night was epic. In the absence of Steve Kerr , Brown headed up Golden State’s coaching staff and he came up with a damn fine ‘ Master Plan’ . Having been fired twice by the Cleveland Cavaliers , I get the feeling Dan Gilbert , GM David Griffin and LeBron James will end up having regrets , especially if they lose this series rather embarrassingly !!!

  10. Yeah, Al, the Warriors came out guns-a-blazin’.

    Here’s hoping Lue and company make the proper adjustments to make for a more competitive Game Two.

    Not turning the ball over 20 times would probably be a nice start.

  11. Article was optimist, comments mostly pessimist.

    I choose half full.

    Try to enjoy it for what it is instead of what it isn’t.

    They say a series doesn’t start til the home team loses. Looking forward to seeing Cleveland try to make that happen tonight. But I won’t hold my breath.

  12. I’ll be watching intently, Bleed.

    Don’t have to work tonight so watching with a buddy (NBA geek like me), Croshere.

    The beer will pour.

    The line right now, GSW -9, Cle +350 to win. Over/under is 220.5.

    If you like Cleveland to win the series, you can get them at just under 5 to 1.

  13. I’m picking GS in game 2 and for the series….KD makes a difference. How could he not? The guy is a 7′ Kobe.

    However, I don’t see a sweep and by no measure am I counting Cleveland out after what went down last year. Just want to see them battle.

  14. Still believe there are nine reasons to watch the NBA Finals ? I can name and thin of only one , the @ss kicking the Cleveland Warriors are currently getting !!!! There’ll be no intrigue to these Finals , because only one team has come to play while the other is giving a really poor effort. To think ABC is demoting prime-time for this crap. Falling viewership and high costs are one of the primary reasons there are growing concerns for parent company Walt Disney Company and ESPN in particular , especially as the consumer can now go elsewhere (internet) and watch these events , without having to pay an extortionate sum for the privilege.

    When will Stephen A Smith take time to climb down of his pedestal and stop being an @ss wipe ? He, Jason Whitlock and Charles Barkley have become imbecilic morons . Smith sniping and KD(Durant) , suggesting the player was disrespectful to fans ? Stephen A Smith is need of a lobotomy as well as common sense.

  15. Bleed…

    The beat downs in Games One and Two have been so bad, the Warriors are once again favored in Game Three.

    Still don’t see a sweep?

  16. This series is over and if Adam Silver allows the refs to intervene , then you know the fix is in .

    Just watched the recent interview given by Robert Horry on ESPN. He might’ve taken one crack to the head too many as Horry was making comparisons between Hakeem and Tim Duncan . Robert Horry may well have seven rings to his name, but he wasn’t always a great teammate. Yet in the interview, he tries to make himself out as some sort of peacemaker . Then he ends up with his diatribe of stating Rudy Tomjanovich was a better head coach than Gregg Popovich and that Hakeem Olajuwon was not only a better play than Tim Duncan, but he also had a better work ethic than the recently retired San Antonio Spurs’ legend. It’s at times like this, I have to ask myself why does ESPN continue dig up and invite @ssholes onto their shows ?

  17. I like me some Hakeem, Al.

    In fact, one could say he and Duncan were quite comparable.

    I don’t know that I’d say Hakeem was better (fourth best center of all-time vs perhaps greatest power forward of all-time) but their post games were both dominant and they both led their teams to championships.

    It’s an interesting argument, that’s for sure.

  18. I’d take Hakeem over Duncan simply because he checks more boxes and was generally more impressive amd dominant in my eyes.

    More skilled offensively, better defender, hit free throws more consistently…Just a better all around player IMO.

    But Horry was out of line.
    Cracked Manu pretty hard too.
    Some things are better left unsaid.

  19. Bleed…

    Just another case of an old school athlete getting crotchety in his old age. They suffer from revisionist history just like the rest of us.

    So…. Hakeem better than Duncan?

    Are they both top ten players of all-time because I think the general consensus is that Duncan is but Hakeem is not.

    Ranking Hakeem ahead of Duncan means you’re throwing him in the top ten.

    Readers…. discuss.

  20. I realize Duncan is higher on most lists. Not taking away anything from Timmy. Best PF of all time….Just a personal preference thing. Duncan had the better career, but in their primes, I’d take Hakeem head-to-head.

  21. That gave me an idea, Bleed.

    We may have to put together a top ten list of all-time players, maybe assemble my forces and ask a few people in the know to contribute to the list.

    Stay tuned. And keep a lookout for the bat signal.

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