The NBA playoffs have been surprisingly very good this year and it culminates with an unlikely but intriguing NBA Finals matchup between the Bucks and Suns.
I think I’ve watched more out-of-town NBA playoff games this year than I have in years. Over the last few years, if the Celtics weren’t playing I was likely not watching, at least not until the NBA Finals. But this year it’s been different, I’ve been locked in and for good reason.
I think it started with the play-in games. I love the concept, it probably helped that the Celtics were involved but having games like the Lakers vs. Warriors for a playoff spot was awesome and it was an entertaining game. I hope they keep the play-in tourney a thing going forward.
It continued into the second round where you had the Nets vs. Bucks series which was fantastic. Especially that game 7, it was one of the best NBA playoff games I’ve watched in a long time. I was glued to my tv, didn’t miss a minute of that game. You also had a great Hawks vs. 76ers series that went 7 games.
Then you had the Suns vs. Clippers, Western Conference Finals that was extremely entertaining and included a couple gems that came down to the last shot.
Now you have the Suns vs. Bucks in the NBA Finals where I expect the Suns to win but the Bucks will hang in there and a couple of these games should come down to the last possession or two.
I think the reason these playoffs have been so good is because of the fresh blood. Your final four was Milwaukee, Phoenix, LA Clippers and Atlanta. We didn’t have to see Lebron James, Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, the Lakers, the Warriors, the Heat. Having some new teams and new stars on the conference and NBA Finals stage is refreshing and something to get excited about.
It’s potentially a really good sign for the NBA moving forward. It’s no secret that the NBA has lacked parity over the years and it feels like right now they have it. Having an NBA Finals where only Jae Crowder has Finals experience is a good thing. Having players like Devin Booker, Giannis and Chris Paul in the Finals is good for the league. It also opens the door for a lot more franchises to reach the Finals in the coming years. I don’t look at Phoenix or Milwaukee as the next great dynasty in the NBA. This thing will be wide open again next year and all this tremendous playoff basketball we’ve had this year, won’t be a one-hit wonder.