This year’s NBA Playoffs promised much and, while they certainly delivered a few surprises and intense action, pushing the giants to the edge, we’re back to what many neutrals would bemoan as the status quo: the Golden State Warriors will once again play LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals.
This is the fourth time in a row these two teams have faced off in the Finals, and the last three series stand 2-1 in favor of the Warriors. Is it payback time for James and the Cavs? Is LeBron the greatest player of all time? Are the Warriors the greatest team of all time? And whose heart isn’t warmed by the Jeff Green story? We look ahead to the most interesting storylines before the series tips off on Thursday. Check it out.
LeBron James fuels G.O.A.T. discussions… again
Some might argue that LeBron James is having one of the best postseasons in basketball history, carrying the Cavs past the Indiana Pacers, Toronto Raptors, and especially Boston Celtics, averaging 34 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 8.8 assists per game in the Playoffs. With a concussed Kevin Love missing most of the final two crunch games against the Celtics, and with the team coming into the Playoffs as the four-seed, many believe that — James aside — this is the weakest Cavs team in quite some time.
Whether that’s fair on the other players is another issue, but James has stoked Greatest-of-All-Time discussions once again thanks to his heroic, mind-blowing performances when it matters most. Here’s what social media is saying:
The Warriors’ super-team is getting trolled online
Everyone loves an underdog story, which is why most neutrals were disappointed to see the Celtics and Houston Rockets lose out in the Conference Finals. Now that Golden State — hands-down the best team in the NBA for four years now, and possibly the greatest team of all time — has made it to yet another Finals, the haters are out in full force online. Check out some of the best reactions to the Warriors’ win over Houston in the Western Conference Final below.
Watch out for Nick Young & J.R. Smith rocking certified heat
J.R. Smith has been on this stage before, having won the title with Cleveland in 2016, while Nick “Swaggy P” Young is here for the first time. What they do have in common is that both players have a penchant for rocking sneakers on-court that other sneakerheads refuse to take out of the box due to their rarity and value.
Young, an adidas athlete, has played in various YEEZYs, while Smith, a Nike athlete, has laced up in Virgil Abloh’s “The Ten” both on- and off-court. It’ll be interesting to see what the duo bring when going against each other on the biggest stage of all. Who will come out on top in the style stakes?
Jeff Green has made the NBA Finals
Jeff Green had probably the most miraculous road to the Finals of all players involved. The 31-year-old missed the entire 2011-12 season after undergoing open-heart surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm — a condition discovered right after he’d signed a new $9 million contract with his team at the time, the Celtics.
Fast forward to today and Green has come full circle, helping the Cavs reach the NBA Finals. His 19 points and eight rebounds in Game 7 against his former team provided much-needed relief for James, who had been carrying the team up until that point. It was Green’s first Playoff start since the first round opener against Indiana, and he was only in the team because of Love’s concussion.
James said after the game, “Listen, at the end of the day, what he does on the basketball floor is extra credit. This guy had open-heart surgery a few years ago. The game was basically taken away from him, and they said it’s possible you’ll never play the game of basketball again. The fact that he can put on a uniform every day and do the things that he does out on the floor — I don’t care if he makes a shot. To make big plays like he made tonight — for him personally, it’s the cherry on top because the game was taken away from him.”
Regardless of your allegiance, it’s a fairytale for Green to be in the Finals at all.
Swaggy P could win a ring
Nick Young is an enigma. You either hate him or you love him for his outgoing, no-filter attitude, and penchant for pulling off a ’fit — even in the most ridiculous of pieces. He’s the confused guy meme. While a solid player at times in his career, his stock has fallen in recent years, this season playing a bit-part role as part of a stacked Warriors roster. Over this season’s Playoffs, he’s averaged just 10.4 minutes per game, racking up an average 2.9 points, 0.3 assists, and 0.6 rebounds.
But Swaggy P doesn’t really care, and evidently has no time for interviews — he just wants to celebrate. And rightly so! He won’t care how big a role he played as long as he ends up with a ring, which he’s now closer to than he’s ever been before. Watch the clip above for his hilarious reaction after the Warriors’ Game 7 win against the Rockets.
Whatever the outcome, and whether you’re tired of the Warriors-Cavs rivalry or not, we all know we’ll be tuning in come Thursday night. And we at Highsnobiety have just one question to ask you: Who you got?
In other news, ‘FIFA 18’ has predicted the outcome of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Check out who wins here.