Will the 2018 NBA Playoffs Be Predictable or Infused with New Blood?

It’s too early to tell what the NBA Playoff Finals matchups will be. But, there exists a strong possibility that it will be yet another Cleveland Cavaliers /Golden State Warriors battle for the title.

I, for one, hope this is not the case.

I like Golden State. On paper they are one of the best teams ever assembled. Steph Curry and Keven Durant are future hall of famers; Klay Thompson is an All Star in his own right; Draymond Green is a powerhouse to be reckoned with; and Andre Iguodala is a truly underrated player who has been a key factor in their championships so far.

Cleveland sports the best player in the game since the departure of Michael Jordan (no offense Kobe Bryant). He has a pretty good supporting crew in Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson, and Kyle Korver. I don’t like J.R. Smith because he conducts himself like punk, but there is no denying he’s a good player when he can keep his bad temper under control.

But does anyone really want to see another Cavaliers/Warriors matchup? We’ve seen it. It’s predictable. It’s not entertaining anymore. If that’s the matchup, I probably won’t watch that many games of the playoffs – if any.

I love the Chicago Bulls. I have for a long time. It got predictable that they would win their championships in the 1990s. They had two of the best players to ever play the game in Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. And that dynamic duo had a solid core of supporting players including John Paxson, Horace Grant, Bill Cartwright, Ron Harper, Toni Kukoc, and Dennis Rodman.

At least in the case of the Bulls during their championship runs, the opponents changed. You had the Los Angeles Lakers in 1990-91, and the Portland Trail Blazers in 1991-91. The Clyde Drexler led Blazers are another one of my favorite teams of all time – so this was a really exciting championship series.

After that, there was the Charles Barkley/Kevin Johnson Phoenix Suns defeat in 1993, the Shawn Kemp/Gary Payton Seattle Supersonics tussle in 1996, and the Karl Malone/John Stockton Utah Jazz faceoffs in 1997 and 1998.

Even with new opponents most years, by the time of the Utah Jazz battles in 1997 and 1990, the Bulls championships seemed to be destined to happen. It wasn’t exciting basketball anymore. It was a study in the inevitable.

That’s where the Cavaliers and Golden State matchups are heading. It’s not always the same winner, but the matchup is predictable.

I’m not a fan of the current Houston Rockets because I despise James Harden (the 1994 and 1995 Rockets I did like because of Hakeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler, Kenny Smith, Sam Cassel, and Robert Horry). But I would be interested in seeing them make the finals.

Over the years I have not been a huge fan of the Boston Celtics, but I can’t help but root for the current team. Because of injuries, they don’t sport a superstar on the court, but they get things done because of good team play. I would love to see them make the finals.

I would never pray about any sporting event given the real worthy things that matter on a universal level that one could pray for, but I certainly hope we see a little variety this year in the playoffs.

I love the game of basketball. I don’t ever want to become numb to the outcome.

Peace. Love Trust.

 

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