It's the nail-biting, teeth-clenching, edge-of-the-seat matches that keep sports fandom so alive. The majority of the time, the most epic game finishers occur when an underdog team perfectly outplays a top-seed contender. Though everyone likes a winning story, everyone also gets behind an underdog story
This is the basis of this season's professional sports playoffs. On one hand, the NBA Finals seem to run on repeat. On the other hand, the NHL Stanley Cup Finals are a treasure chest of colorful come-up stories that make for a better read and finals match.
I think it's time to accept that winning isn't everything, but the manner in which you get there is. Diving into the two major playoffs series, here's a breakdown of the NBA and Stanley Cup Finals leading into June.
The lesson: it's important to root for the underdog. And frankly, it's a hell of a lot more fun.
Lebron vs. Dub Nation
By Game 3, the crown on Lebron James's head was looking a little dull.
The Boston Celtics pulled off two monster wins in Game 1 and Game 2, and fans everywhere began to think that this series was going to get lucky. The Cleveland Cavaliers didn't have it in them this season. Love, almost useless the parts of the playoffs he did play, sat due to an injury.
The Celtics had a chance to knock James & Co. off of the pedestal after a twisting season that left Cavs-turned-Celtic Kyrie Irving on the bench with an injury. It took seven games in a hard-fought series, but Lebron still pulled off the series in a manner that reinstated his dominance in the NBA.
After another tough seven-game series, the Rockets fell to the knees of Durant and the Golden State Warriors in the NBA semifinals. Stephen Curry's return post-injury packed an extra punch. Though James Harden and the Rockets fended off the reigning NBA Champions from taking hold of the series, the Rockets joined the Celtics in losses during Game 7.
Therefore, the 2018 NBA Finals are looking just like the 2017 NBA Finals that look very much like the 2016 NBA Finals that looked exactly like the 2015 NBA Finals.
I'm bored. I'm over turning on the television and hearing the announcers hyper-focus on James's legacy before he even retires. I'm over the Hampton Five and a clenching reign of the NBA Finals spot that leaves all other prospects just slightly too behind. There is a gaping hole where underdogs should shine in the NBA, and for all of the money that this matchup makes, it also makes professional basketball currently boring. The NBA Finals rerun says a lot about where the league is, and it also opens sports fans' eyes to this year's NHL playoffs. Underdogs galore, and a lot more to talk about than Lebron James.
Purchase NBA Finals tickets to see the dominating teams live.
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