After a successful All-Star break it is time to take a look at the future. Here are five NBA Finals matchups that everyone wants to see and five no one does.
5 NBA Finals Matchups You Want To See, 5 You Don’t!
5 NBA Finals Matchups I Want To See
Milwaukee Bucks vs LA Clippers +355
There’s no NBA Finals matchup I’d rather see right now and I believe this matchup is actually going to take place. Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks have been the best team in all of basketball this season and have the look of a team that won’t be seriously challenged in the weak Eastern Conference. Still, the reigning MVP and his band of merry mates are going to have their hands completely full against two-time Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and a Clippers team that got even stronger recently thanks to their additions of Marcus Morris and Isiah Thomas.
Milwaukee Bucks vs LA Lakers +338
While the Bucks have been red-hot since the start of the regular season, LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers have their own legitimate championship hopes out west. What self-respecting NBA fan doesn’t want to see the Greek Freak try to throw down some hellacious jams on James and Anthony Davis? Oh, and since I’m in a giving mood, if these two teams do meet, you can expect the Bucks to win it all simply because the Lakers are lacking quality depth on the bench.
Boston Celtics vs LA Lakers +2000
Remember Jayson Tatum’s vicious dunk on LeBron James in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals two years ago? I do, but if you don’t, here it is! Besides that, Boston looks like one of just a couple of teams that could actually challenge Milwaukee in the East and the still-blossoming Tatum is a huge reason why. Points blank, you can expect a knock-down, drag-out thriller if these two contenders make it to the finals.
Toronto Raptors vs LA Clippers +2215
The defending champion Raptors might have lost Kawhi Leonard in free agency following their first championship win in franchise history, but Toronto has looked surprisingly solid and are the hottest team in the league with a whopping 14 straight wins at the time of this writing. Seeing Leonard go up against his former teammates, including now, all-star forward Pascal Siakim, might not be great for TV ratings, but I believe it it would be a competitive series.
Philadelphia 76ers vs Denver Nuggets +8500
While I’m disappointed with the struggling 76ers right now, I’d love to see the all-star center matchup and contrasting styles of Denver’s Nikola Jokic and Philly’s Joel Embiid and a similarly interesting matchup between point guards Jamal Murray and Ben Simmons.
5 NBA Finals Matchups No One Wants
Philadelphia 76ers vs Houston Rockets +6850
While I’d love to see some on-court ‘drama’ from Embiid and Houston’s Russell Westbrook, this potential finals matchup won’t be good for the league’s ratings, nor would it be good for basketball purists that like to see a better brand of hoops besides the isolation style both of these teams play.
Boston Celtics vs Denver Nuggets +8500
While the Celtics and Nuggets are two of the league’s best title contenders in their respective conferences, I’m not sure how many fans outside of Boston and Denver would actually watch this series. The good news is that it would definitely be competitive with a chance to go the distance. The bad news is that no one’s getting fired up to see Kemba Walker and Paul Millsap.
Toronto Raptors vs Utah Jazz +10100
Again, while both of these teams are legitimate NBA Finals contenders, the fact of the matter is that the Jazz have absolutely no pizzazz outside of entertaining high-flyer Donovan Mitchell and some blocks by Rudy Gobert. Likewise, while Pascal Siakim and Fred VanVleet are fine players, no one will be in a big rush to leave their summertime fun to see these guys.
Miami Heat vs Houston Rockets +8700
I love Miami’s additions of Andre Iguodala and Jae Crowder, but the only reason anyone would watch this potential NBA Finals pairing is to see Jimmy Butler and Russell Westbrook potentially come to blows. Ooh, maybe this is a finals matchup I’d want to see!
New York Knicks vs LA Lakers +999999
East Coast vs West Coast usually sounds like fun, but watching LeBron, the Brown and the Lake Show win in 4 straight will be only fun for one city.