Well here we are again, it’s early June which means its time for some solid TV to start dropping (Stranger Things, Obi-Wan). Some solid weather to appreciate (it’s a balmy 83 right now here in Michigan). Some graduation parties to start crashing (GPC as I’ve written about before). And of course, the NBA Finals. I can see into the future for all these things! Let me prove it to you.
Stranger Things is going to push some boundaries, it has to. Because the show could just be done if it wanted to be, so if they are going to bring it back, they are going to push it up. Think Harry Potter, the kids will grow up, and so will the “darkness” of the show. The summer weather will end before you know it. I attribute this mostly to us being too busy during the summer, but there is also the alternative explanation. It’s just really short compared to our Winters. Your going to get a gift of $20 and 22 cents for your grad party. Because it is a easy (also read, low) number to give and that 22 cents makes it feel kind of thoughtful and not like you slipped a 20 into a card you forgot to sign. But the future of the NBA Finals… That is what you are here for right? I see 10 things coming our way…
1. The Media will over react to almost every game result.
It must be exhausting, blowing as hard as you can on live TV after every game. Declaring a series over, deciding a team’s fate, and jumping to conclusions faster than an episode of CSI. Whatever happened to “a series hasn’t started until someone wins on the road”? I mean good gracious the media put Boston in the Finals after Game 2, Game 3, Game 5, and halfway through game 7. Only to have a Jimmy Butler shot rattle out and save them from the most epic collapse in game 7 history.
2. Someone will have to become the Villain in your eyes.
Every NBA Final needs a villain, if it isn’t a team your rooting for it has to be someone you can root against. The choices are obvious. You have public enemy number one Draymond Green. And then you have “very punchable face” Marcus Smart. Both Defensive Player of the Year winners, which is no coincidence. It won’t take long and you’ll be directing your ire towards them on almost every play. But try to take a moment and appreciate their greatness, there are tons of offensive superstars in the league but there are very few people who can guard 1 through 5 like these two can.
3. Random players will step up in huge moments.
There are two reasons for this. The first one, is that these organizations are so smart, so well coached, they are getting the most out of every player. From the top to the bottom, everyone on the court is being utilized to their fullest potential. Which means guys like Kevon Looney, Derrick White, Jordan Poole, and Peyton Pritchard are going to have absolutely massive moments in this series. Their coached so well, and the pieces fit together so nicely, that even “lesser” players have the ability to succeed. The second factor, both of these teams are so smart defensively, they are going to do a LOT to slow down the other team’s best player.
4. That being said, Curry and Tatum will have at least one quiet game.
Small minded basketball fans will say they are choking and use that as ammunition against them. Without recognizing how much defensive effort is going to be thrown at them to slow them down. Watch how many defenders the Warriors throw at Tatum. Your going to see Wiggins, Klay, GP3, Draymond, and Looney all take their turns at defending him. (And a concentrated effort to hide Curry and Poole from him as best they can.)
5. The Refs will be infuriating.
It has gotten better this year with less “foul hunting” being allowed, but it will still be at times, unbearable. The entire Celtic roster will be acting as if they have been assaulted on every single charge they attempt to draw. Reviews will take entirely too long, and Stan Van Gundy will declare a hard foul “an obvious no call” that will get turned into Flagrant 1 after a 12 minute review.
6. There will be a record amount of Turnovers.
Both teams are turnover prone, and pretty adept at forcing turnovers. The Warriors pass and cut a ton, take a ton of risks in their high powered offense. And the Celtics try to isolate their dominant wings a lot, forcing 1v2’s late into the shot clock. I think limiting turnovers will be a huge factor in determining who emerges victorious in this series.
7. Thinking Basketball will release a FANTASTIC video some point during the series.
If you have any interest in learning the intricacies of NBA basketball, I urge you to check out this guy’s videos. He is so amazingly talented at breaking down X’s and O’s of the NBA on a higher level, don’t tell me the NBA has no strategy. I want to create content like this guy does SO bad. Here is a video talking about Jordan Poole’s breakout year, and what makes it so unique.
8. Someone will over attribute a loss to rebounding.
The only time rebounding is a significant stat is when there are a lot of OFFENSIVE rebounds. People need to change their perspective on what a rebound is. A defensive rebound is the bi-product of a missed shot. It is ASSUMED the defensive will regain possession after a miss shot. When you see a big score differential, you will also see a big rebound differential. But people are putting the horse before the cart. Team X lost to Team Y by a lot. Team Y had way more rebounds, is that why team Y won? No, team X lost because they missed a lot of shots. Looney and Wiggins are fantastic offensive rebounders, that is a stat that matters. Russel Westbrook’s 9 defensive rebounds a game for his career? Completely Irrelevant.
9. Facebook chatter will be high.
I think what is fun about a 7 game series is that we all get to “stay in the moment” for a solid two weeks. Hardcore and casual fans alike get to talk and discuss after every game. It lasts for such a long time, and everyone will have an opinion. It’s what makes Jimmy’s missed shot in the ECF so epic. All of my basketball buddies had something to say about it. My wife and I argued about it. It was 1 inch away from being played during every clutch shot YouTube video ever. (I’ve got no problem with Jimmy Butler taking that shot, by the way.)
10. Warriors in 6. Curry FMVP.
This one is a little cloudier than the rest. While the first 9 are nearly certain to happen, I’ve got a pretty good feeling about this one too. Total homer take I won’t even try to hide my love for Steph or the Warriors. And since it is a homer take, I won’t break down why I think this is true. My bias is heavy and my glasses are cloudy, my take won’t matter to you anyways.