For the fourth consecutive year, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors are competing for the NBA championship.
The Warriors have won two out of the previous three matchups, and several are predicting them to win again in 2018, especially after the Cavaliers’ demise in Game 1. During Game 2, Steph Curry broke Ray Allen’s record, hitting nine three-pointers.
Before the playoffs began, the Warriors and Cavaliers were both favored to reach the 2018 NBA Finals.
The Warriors were 2-3 favorites to repeat as NBA champions, and the Cavaliers had 6-1 odds to win the Finals.
With the departure of Kyrie Irving, a key contributor in the Cavaliers one and only championship, LeBron James has carried his team to the NBA Finals yet again and has accomplished a historic feat along the way by attending eight straight championship appearances.
However, the impact of watching this rematch has been discussed extensively over the last week. Many complain that it is not good for the league to see no change in the NBA Finals, especially when the Warriors are viewed as a superteam.
When asked if the Warriors are a superteam, Kevin Durant replied, “Superteam? No, we just work extremely well together.”
While this may be true, it is hard to not see them as superior to the rest of the league, considering three players out of their starting lineup are superstar players as well as Olympic gold medalists. No matter how good the rest of the Western Conference continues to get, the Warriors keep surpassing their competition.
On the other hand, the Cavaliers have had a lock on the Eastern Conference for the last four years, and no team has beaten James to reach the Finals in the last eight years. It is evident that he is the best player in the world, and the question analysts and commentators ask is can you beat James four times in a series?
Zero teams in the Eastern Conference have been able to do it, and the question now becomes, when will the rest of the league catch up?
Fans witnessed each of these teams being battle-tested for the first time in a very long time this playoffs, but are other NBA teams simply not good enough to contend?
The Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers were able to challenge the Cavaliers to seven games, but James and his crew proved to be too much. The Houston Rockets were picked in several circles to beat the Warriors but fell short after another seven-game series as well. Despite the star talent each of these teams had, it still is not enough.
Interestingly enough, NBA viewership on ABC has actually increased this past season by 17 percent. Averaging 3.8 million viewers on the 17 games played on the network, not including the NBA Finals, maybe the majority enjoy seeing the current matchup more than people think.
Although some fans are ready for a change, what can the league really do?
James weighed in on this debate in the NBA community, and said, “If you want to see somebody else in the Finals, then you gotta beat them.”
The bottom line is that the rest of the NBA must get better.
As some basketball fanatics are crying for another team to step up and defeat the ones on the throne, if nothing changes, we should sit back and enjoy another competitive series between the Cavaliers and Warriors.