We are witnessing one of the most fascinating countdowns to greatness in NBA history. In a house full of sons who have all made their picks, this is probably the first year we are definitively divided.
A few short weeks ago, the reigning champions, the Golden State Warriors, demonstrated one of the greatest Western conference finals comebacks against the Oklahoma City Thunder. With their butts in a sling following two back-to-back beatdowns from OKC, they were 48 game minutes away from being launched into the losers circle of all-time greatest upsets. I was horrified as I watched them crumbling before my eyes after recording the best regular season record in NBA history. Throughout the year they were unstoppable. No one had an answer for the elite “small ball” Warriors. What they lacked in size they more than made up for in heart and skill set. About 0ne-third into the season, the idea of a back-to-back championship appeared inevitable. However, there was one looming test they would have to pass. It was the one matchup most of the commentators were anticipating would foretell the future outcome. Inquiring minds wanted to know, how would the Golden State Warriors measure up against the Oklahoma City Thunder?
The Oklahoma City Thunder are by far one of the best teams in professional basketball. Their season ended 3 weeks ago and I’m still thinking and talking about them. OKC has an arsenal of weaponry in Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. They are young and they are fierce and they single handedly put their team and Oklahoma City on the map. Yes, I know, basketball is a “team sport” and one of the biggest criticisms against them is their lack of ball movement and team play but that’s their game, and has worked for them – up until the point where it counts the most. I can’t lie, a matchup between Kevin and Lebron would have been dreamy, and I would have been rooting for KD and Russell all the way.
As for the question, how would the Golden State Warriors measure up against the Oklahoma City Thunder? Well, the Warriors more than measured up against the Thunder, beating them on both regular season meetings and overcame the insurmountable obstacle of being down 3 games to 1. But oh how the tides have changed.
It was just last week that the Golden State Warriors were ahead of the Cleveland Cavaliers 3 games to 1. They were on pace to closing the series out at home and came up shockingly short. No worries, the champagne tastes better on the opponent’s court anyway, right? Oh how sweet that victory would have been. But not this time. The Cleveland Cavaliers, led by their no nonsense powerhouse LeBron James, have a different plan for the reigning champs. Lebron broke the broom when talks of a sweep were flooding the airways. Will he Shaq-shatter the backboard glass on the head of the beloved MVP Steph Curry? Only time will tell.
Tonight is game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals. The season champion will be named. Whichever way it goes, records will be broken and stars will shine.
The Gout de Diamants is on ice at the Oracle.
Who will be toasting this time?