The 2018 NBA Finals are finally here, and while we’re looking at the fourth-straight year of the Golden State Warriors vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers, the road to episode 4 was pretty interesting. The Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers arrived as contenders in the desperately-in-need-of-contenders Eastern Conference. The Houston Rockets proved that they are a legitimate problem for the Warriors moving forward, and between the likes of Jayson Tatum, Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, and Donovan Mitchell, the future of the NBA is in good hands.
But here we are with the same NBA Finals for at least one more year. LeBron James carried what might be the worst team he’s ever played for to another Larry O’Brien opportunity, while the Golden State Warriors continued to Golden State Warrior all over the Western Conference, most recently without Andre Iguodala and a maybe-not-totally-healthy Stephen Curry.
I won’t sugarcoat it. The Warriors are heavy favorites in this series, as they should be, but as LeBron has proved time and time again, he’s not easy to beat in a 7 game series. And while the lack of ‘help’ LeBron has received from his teammates throughout the post-season has made his road back to the NBA Finals significantly more difficult, that same level of difficulty has put James in a position to seriously challenge Michael Jordan’s G.O.A.T. status. If he can overcome this Warriors team with this Cavaliers team, that has to impact the debate somewhere.
Yes, a large portion of NBA fans are tired of seeing the same two teams in the NBA Finals for the fourth-straight season, and I can sympathize with those feelings to some degree, but this is an NBA Finals with NBA history-altering implications if James can do it. I’m OK watching that.