Going for the Three-peat
We appear to be on a collision course to see the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals for the third straight season. It's what people have expected since the season bowed in October. But is that a good thing?
While most pundits expected the Cavs and Warriors to make the finals, few expected the playoffs to be this flaccid. The Cavs won their first 10 games, including two blow outs to begin the Eastern Conference Finals. The Warriors have faced a similar lack of challenge in their run to the finals. Even their match up with the Spurs, predicted to be a good one, has gone flat thanks to an injury to the Spurs' best player.
Now, all people can hope is that the Cavs and Warriors play another epic series, one that can help salvage these playoffs. That's a good hope, and it will probably happen. But no matter which team wins the rubber match (the Warriors won in 2015 and the Cavs returned the favor last summer), there's a bigger question for the NBA moving forward.
Who is the next challenger?
Sure, the Spurs are always threats in the west, and the Rockets made strides this season. But are they really threats? In the East, the picture is even less clear. The Celtics were the No. 1 seed this year, but they've hardly looked the part. And even with the No. 1 draft pick later this summer, can they really be a serious threat to contend.
The rest of the teams "in the mix" all have flaws or serious questions. Which means that next October, when predictions come for the next season, the Cavs and Warriors might be a popular choice for the fourth year in a row.
Steph Curry, Kevin Durrant, Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving and LeBron James are among the best players in the game, but eventually people will get tired of seeing the same thing year after year. Yet, unless something dramatic changes, we could be seeing these two teams battling it out for years yet to come.