2017 was an entertaining year for the National Basketball Association. From talented rookies to an unprecedented meeting in the 2017 NBA Finals, here are the top 5 moments of 2017 in the NBA.
- Golden State Warriors win 2017 NBA Championship. For the first time in NBA history, the same teams met in the NBA Finals for the third year in a row. With the Warriors winning the title in 2015 and LeBron James bringing the city of Cleveland their first title in 52 years when the Cavaliers overcame a 3-1 deficit the following year, the entire 2016-2017 season led to this matchup. The addition of former MVP and four-time scoring champion Kevin Durant proved too much for the Cavs as he nailed the winning shot over James, and the Warriors won in five games with Durant claiming the 2017 NBA Finals MVP Award.
- Kyrie Irving joins the Boston Celtics. With three straight NBA Finals appearances and a 2016 NBA championship after failing in make the NBA Playoffs in his first three seasons, Irving decided to take his talents to Boston. Though many questioned his decision, it has paid off early, as the Celtics have the best record in the Eastern Conference, including an NBA best 16-game winning streak. Ultimately, the 2018 NBA Playoffs will decide if Irving made a great career move or not.
- Chris Paul joins the Houston Rockets. After six disappointing years with the Los Angeles Clippers, Paul decided to sign with the Rockets and create one of the best backcourts in NBA history. So far, the move has paid off, as Houston has the best record in the NBA. Ultimately, the Rockets will get to show the entire NBA how good they are by rocketing past the Warriors to get into the 2018 NBA Finals.
- Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers draft Lonzo Ball. NBA great Magic Johnson was named the President of the Lakers and his first significant move was to draft UCLA product Lonzo Ball. He has had an up and down rookie season thus far. Though Ball can pass and rebound the ball at an NBA level, he needs to work on his shooting. Many would also say he needs to figure out a way to quiet his Dad, LaVar Ball, who has made both basketball and non-basketball headlines, including a war of words with Donald Trump.
- Russell Westbrook gets some talented help. After James Harden was traded to Houston and Kevin Durant bolted for Golden State, Westbrook became a one-man show, which resulted in a Most Valuable Player award, but also being eliminated in the first round. With the addition of Carmelo Anthony and Paul George, the Thunder now have a Big 3 again, but it has failed to pay dividends. The team hasn’t gelled thus far, but I am confident they will improve and be a difficult team to eliminate in the 2018 NBA Playoffs.