By LENNON MODORY and TOMMY DOHERTY
For three consecutive years, the NBA Finals have featured the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers. It began in the 2015 NBA Finals with an injury-ridden Cavaliers team facing the Warriors in their first go-around. These teams also provided one of the most exciting Finals in NBA history, with the Cavaliers making a historic comeback after being down 3-1 in 2016. This culminated to a 2017 rubber match with the Warriors “Super Team” dispatching LeBron’s undermatched Cavaliers in five games. At the beginning of the 2017/2018 NBA season, fans and reporters predicted we would see this matchup for a fourth consecutive year. However, the direction of this prognosis quickly changed as the season progressed. Kyrie Irving’s Celtics hold the number one seed in the Eastern Conference, two spots ahead of the Cavaliers. While out West, the Golden State Warriors once again have reign over the number one spot, but the flourishing Houston Rockets are close behind. Matchups between these four teams prove nobody is safe.
The Houston Rockets have battled the Warriors three times this season and emerged victorious in two of these games. The Rockets have a strong chance at defeating the Warriors in a possible Western Conference Finals matchup. The Rockets have also lost their game against the Boston Celtics after holding a 26 point lead. These teams have one game remaining against each other. In addition, Golden State annihilated the Cavaliers in their two matchups of the season. The Cavaliers have been subject to recent struggles and are losing their dominance in the East to the ascending Boston Celtics. The Celtics are 1-1 against the Cavs, but in their most recent contest, the Celtics provided an onslaught on the deflating Cavaliers team.
Furthermore, two of the league’s most exciting games have been between the Celtics and Warriors. Featuring the league’s best point guards, Stephen Curry, and Kyrie Irving, alongside great talent with Golden State’s Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Boston’s Al Horford and Jayson Tatum. In their first matchup in Boston, the Celtics went on a tirade, beating the Warriors. ABC’s Saturday Primetime matchup between Boston and Golden State was held last weekend. It was a point guard and a game for the ages. Curry scored a season high 49 points, while Irving dropped 47 in his best effort to defeat the Warriors. Golden State emerged victorious; however, these teams might be our closest bet for the 2018 NBA Finals. Irving’s crafty scoring along with Durant and Curry’s shooting ability combine to form a basketball fan’s greatest dream. We cannot be sure, but we have a pretty good guess that we might see an NBA Finals featuring the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors very, very soon.