BY COLIN HITCH
This year has been historic in the NBA in many ways and the playoffs are no exception.
This postseason alone has seen both the Cavs and the Warriors dominating the entire time, both sweeping the first two rounds. This is the first year that two teams have started 8-0 in the playoffs, and the Cavs are the first team in NBA history to begin 8-0 in back-to-back postseason runs. This sets the stage for yet another Finals matchup for the two teams for the third year in a row.
The Cavaliers started the first round against the 7th seed Indiana Pacers. They swept them, by scores of: 109-108, 117-111, 119-114, and 106-102. The combined margin of victory was extremely small but the second round wasn’t quite as close. In the Eastern conference semifinals, the Cavs played the Toronto Raptors and swept them as well by scores of: 116-105, 125-103, 115-94, and 109-102. Ever since the end of regular season play, the Cavs have dominated, and now await their ECF opponents to see who will reach the Finals, though most speculate the Cavs will easily go through to face off vs the Western champion thanks to having LeBron James.
That Western championship team that the Cavs are likely to play happens to be the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors, as everyone knows, blew a 3-1 lead in the Finals to the Cavaliers last year, but have acquired Kevin Durant from OKC and now are stronger than ever. Although Steph Curry’s season wasn’t MVP-caliber like his previous seasons, he is still a threat from three-point range. They swept the Portland Trailblazers in the first round and in the Western semifinals swept the Utah Jazz. Next, they will play the winner of the Houston-San Antonio series, with the San Antonio Spurs currently on top 3-2. It is a similar situation to the Cavaliers in that it is highly expected for the Warriors to have a cake walk to the Finals at this point.
When asked who he thinks will face off in the Finals, Noah Porter(10) said, “I think this is a no brainer. The Warriors will face the Cavs for the third year in a row no doubt.” If Noah and most other people with the same prediction are correct this will be the first time ever that the same two teams face off in the Finals three years in a row. The first year, the Warriors beat the Cavs in 6, and last year the Cavs beat the Warriors in 7 after the 3-1 deficit was historically overcome.
When asked if seeing the Cavs vs Warriors matchup in the Finals was getting boring, Jacob Brown(10) said, “I know a lot of people are getting bored of seeing it, but I always want the Cavs in the Finals and seeing the Warriors again would just add to the rivalry.”
No matter who the two teams that face off in the Finals this year are, it is a guarantee it will be very fun to watch. Even if your team isn’t in the Championship this year, it is still a great event to watch. The Cavs and Warriors’ rivalry is like no other and doesn’t have a clear end in sight, but everyone in Northeast Ohio and in the Bay Area is eager to see exactly how this year shapes out in the NBA.