Ryan Vespi and Murphy Foss
Will King James be overthrown this year? Last year, LeBron James and the Cleveland Caveliers won the NBA championship. This was the first time a major sports team in Cleveland won a championship in the last 52 years, and this year, their competition is looking tougher.
Last year’s Western Conference champions, the Golden State Warriors, are at full strength with the addition of future Hall of Famer Kevin Durant. In the East, the Boston Celtics, lead by Isaiah Thomas, signed All-Star Al Horford, making this year’s playoffs a spectacle to see.
Both the Warriors and Cavs have dominated the conference semi-finals, with the Cavs sweeping the Toronto Raptors and the Warriors sweeping the Utah Jazz. “I really hope we don’t have a repeat of last year’s finals with the Cavs versus the Warriors,” said freshman New York Knicks fan Nic Kemmis. “It’ll be boring.”
The other playoff matchups are between the Washington Wizards against the Celtics, and the Houston Rockets against the San Antonio Spurs. “It’s going to be Celtics versus Cavs and Spurs versus Warriors in the Conference Finals,” said sophomore and Celtics fan Eric Benaroch.
The Spurs have veterans like LaMarcus Aldridge, Pau Gasol, and Manu Ginobili, as well as one of the best players in the game, Kawhi Leonard. “Besides LeBron, he’s the best two-way player in the game, and in that aspect he’s not that far off from LeBron,” said freshman and Miami Heat fan Parker Cote.
The Rockets have MVP candidate James Harden, as well as young talent like Lou Williams and Patrick Beverly. Their series will come down to the wire this upcoming weekend. “James Harden is going to carry the team to the finals and no one will stop them,” said sophomore and Oklahoma City Thunder fan Max Chirco.
The Wizards have strong leaders like Markeef Morris, Marcin Gortat, and John Wall, who will look to tie the series at home this weekend and survive for a game 7 at TD Garden in Boston. However, Avery Bradley, Al Horford, and one of the top point guards in the East, Isaiah Thomas, will look to clinch a playoff berth in the Eastern Conference Finals. “Isaiah is the best player still left in the playoffs,” said Benaroch.
A big award given out at the end of every season is the league MVP award. “Russ [Russell Westbrook] is MVP. No question,” said sophomore and Lakers fan Tyson Echols. “James Harden over Russ any day,” said sophomore and Rockets/New York Knicks fan Jake Brang. However, every year there is always a possibility of the previous year’s MVP winning it again. “LeBron theoretically deserves it every year, they just can’t give it to him all the time, he’s been the best in the league for a long time,” said sophomore and Cavs fan Kaleb McCloud. No matter who wins the finals or the MVP, it will for sure be quite a show.