July 5th, 2017, Kevin Durant signs with the Golden State Warriors and changes the balance of the NBA. A move that simply ruined the NBA. For the following weeks and even months, NBA reporters fiercely debated on TV and wrote articles trying to digest the surprising news. Most famously Stephen A. Smith’s rant.
During the season, the Cavaliers and Warriors competed with each other in an arms race. Both teams were stacking up their rosters, preparing for a potential NBA Finals matchup. The Warriors added offensive superstar Kevin Durant, while the Cavaliers added sharpshooter Kyle Korver and veteran playmaker Deron Williams. Fast Forward a couple months to the NBA Playoffs. The Warriors finished 67-15, worse than last year, despite adding another superstar. However, they emerged as the Western Conference favorites immediately. NBA fans immediately counted out all the Western Conference playoff teams, including the Spurs. Fans expected dull, boring competition and that is what they got. The Warriors swept their way to the Western Conference Finals (WCF) with little trouble. The first two rounds were filled with little excitement. The most exciting series was the Spurs vs. Rockets, where in Game 5 Manu Ginobili blocked James Harden’s potential game winner. However, all that excitement ended when the Spurs blew out the Rockets in Game 6 and went on to face the Warriors, where they are predicted to lose.
The Western Conference playoff bracket is very boring and is filled with countless blowouts. The winner of the bracket was decided long before a single playoff game was played when one player decided to join the Warriors. Fans, analysts, and even some players expected the Warriors to get to the Finals and win it, before the season started. The Warriors took all the excitement out of the NBA season and playoffs.
Even in the East, there were no surprises. Since LeBron joined the Heat in 2011, the East has been his. He has made the Finals 6 straight time and is expected to make his 7th straight appearance this year. The Eastern Conference knows that it’s LeBron’s conference, so it wasn’t too surprising when the Cavs swept their way to the Eastern Conference Finals (ECF). Like the Warriors, the Cavaliers are predicted to make the Finals, and have been predicted to long before the playoff started.
The NBA Playoffs have been very boring this year. Every series has been very predictable. Even the average NBA fan can easily predict the winners. There have been a lot of ten and 20 point wins. Everyone knows who the Finals matchup will be and that takes the fun and excitement out of the NBA. The league has been predictable before with the Lakers, Bulls, and Celtics, however, never like this. Never have teams tanked just because they knew they had no chance to beat the Warriors or the Cavaliers.
These teams have ruined the NBA. Teams have started to tank and NBA stars have started to team up try and beat the two super teams in the league. This is obvious after Durant went to Golden State after losing to them in the playoffs. The Warriors added Kevin because they couldn’t beat LeBron and the Cavs. The Cavaliers added veteran shooters and playmakers to beat the Warriors and their newly added superstar. It was an arms race between these two teams trying to get the best players just to beat each other.
In today’s NBA, there is something different than earlier seasons, the Warriors and Cavaliers have won the game before the game has started, they have won the series before it even started, and they have made the NBA Finals before the season has started. The only uncertainty left is who will win the two-team NBA league, the Cavaliers or Warriors?