The streets are buzzing with excitement for the NBA season to start. New superteams ’round the league. A Philly squad that might not be a total embarrassment. A Kyrie-led Boston team that could challenge LeBron for supremacy in the East. Despite the hype, it’s all for naught. The NBA Finals are already a foregone conclusion.
Charles Barkley: "I have to get on TV and fake it for seven months that it’s not going to be the Warriors and Cavs in the finals again" pic.twitter.com/Oc8hbY7mR2
— The Fuzz (@TheFuzzNBA) October 16, 2017
You can take that straight to the bank (or the cage, if your bank doesn’t accept casino chips). For a league that lacks parity, the NBA did an incredible job hyping the upcoming season.
Chris Paul makes the Rockets a better team, no question. Between him and James Harden, it’s tough to argue that anyone in the league has a better front court. But it doesn’t matter. No one is getting through the Warriors in the West.
The Spurs, under Coach Pop’s watchful gaze and Kawhi Leonard’s on-court leadership, will have another great season. Look for Dejounte Murray to have a breakout year. But the Warriors are too good; too deep. Who do you think has a higher basketball IQ: Patty Mills or Shaun Livingston?
The Thunder made out like bandits by adding Paul George and Carmelo Anthony to help reigning MVP Russell Westbrook. They were a dangerous team last year; this year they’re offensive juggernauts. They don’t stand a chance against the Warriors.
Barring an injury to someone important (KD or Curry), the Warriors will walk through the Western Conference in the playoffs until an inevitable meeting with LeBron James & Co. in the NBA Finals, again.
In the Eastern Conference, the Celtics made a huge move, trading Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder for Kyrie Irving.
Kyrie wanted to get out of LeBron’s shadow; fair play. But he’s gonna have to fight that shadow come playoff time. And fighting a shadow at sunset can be an awfully tall order, given that the Earth is flat. No shot.
And what about those young Philadelphia 76ers? They’ve got a dominant big man in Joel Embiid, two number one overall picks with limitless potential in Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz, and 6’10 second-year phenom Dario Saric, who’s coming off a NBA First-Team All-Rookie season. Wouldn’t exactly call them “prohibitive favorites” at 66-1, the Vegas odds on them winning the ‘ship this year.
Charles Barkley is right. Fans can dream, pundits can prognosticate, but we all know who’s going to be playing in the NBA Finals this year. And we all know which way it’s going to go.