Sports fans don't like repetition. They enjoy change; whether it be an underdog team upsetting a perennial favorite, a new star player rising to new orbits or a young coach showcasing his skills from the sideline. The Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers rivalry has become stale — it's time for the Boston Celtics to re-enter the Finals.
The Cavaliers are not who they once were. Tristan Thompson has not come remotely close to living up to his contract. J.R. Smith may be the worst starter in the league. Isaiah Thomas is still not 100 percent and it's looking more and more like he will not replace what Kyrie Irving gave the team. The Derrick Rose signing was a flop. Dwyane Wade has had his moments, but it's clear the pick-up was more of a "keep LeBron James happy" move. Kevin Love is constantly battling his own teammates off the court. And, equally as important, Tyronn Lue looks like he may not get another head coaching job after his stint in Cleveland.
To make matters worse, Dan Gilbert is reportedly looking to sell the team. Cleveland peaked in 2016 when they beat the Warriors for their first title. It's now time to move on from this rivalry. It's for the best.
Boston is starting to quickly build a more entertaining matchup and it features the faces of each franchise: Kyrie Irving and Stephen Curry. While it's clear that Curry is the better player, Irving is special in his own right. Both guys have some of the deadliest crossovers the NBA has ever seen. Both can finish at the rim as well as anyone and they both make some of the toughest shots when the clock is winding down.
Warriors fans enjoy it when Curry goes up against the likes of Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul, Damian Lillard and others. But they can all agree that nothing is more dynamic than the Curry-Irving matchup. We saw it go up a notch this past weekend when the Warriors narrowly beat Boston.
Irving was injured during the 2015 Finals. It was clear that Curry didn't recover from his sprained knee injury in the 2016 Finals. 2017 was all about James vs. Kevin Durant. Curry and Irving became the secondary game within the game. But with Curry at 100 percent and James out of the way, it's time for this rivalry to be featured on the big stage once again.
On the sidelines, Brad Stevens and Steve Kerr are two of the top five coaches in the league right now. Stevens is a magician when it comes to drawing up plays after timeouts. Kerr's offensive mentality of ball movement has proven to be successful. One of them is a multiple-time NBA champion. The other is going to perhaps be the league's top coach one day.
And then you have Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. Love them or hate them, together they put on some of the most entertaining shows in all of basketball. They are all bound to be in the Hall of Fame once their careers end and have proven they can perform in the playoffs.
For Boston, you have the pesky Marcus Smart who helps run the rugged Boston defense. Then there is Jayson Tatum, bound to be an All-Star sooner than later. Jaylen Brown is a better NBA player than he was in college and has stepped it up in his sophomore year. Al Horford is one of the best passing big men in the league and helps facilitate their offense. You can't forget about Gordon Hayward who will play the role of the second scorer for Boston when he's healthy.
The Toronto Raptors are one of the best teams in the league and could provide a very interesting matchup as well. The battle of the best backcourts in each conference, plus Drake on the sideline would be entertaining on its own. And then you have the Washington Wizards who have under-performed all season long, resulting in a likely sweep, given John Wall's need for knee surgery. The Miami Heat simply don't have the star power to make it a fun series.
A Golden State-Boston NBA Finals would be the most entertaining as of today. However, I still find it hard to believe that any team in the East can beat a LeBron James led squad in a 7-game series until we actually see it done. On top of that, I can't see any of those teams beating Golden State in the Finals.
Either way, it's time for a change. We need a new David to Golden State's Goliath.