The NBA Finals are just around the corner, and the question on everyone’s mind is: who is going to be in the NBA Finals? We’ve got the scoop on who the experts think will make it to the big game.
The four teams that have a chance at winning the NBA Finals this year are the Golden State Warriors, the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Houston Rockets, and the Boston Celtics. These are all great teams, but only one can win it all. Who do you think will come out on top?
Los Angeles Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles. The Lakers compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA), as a member of the league’s Western Conference Pacific Division. The Lakers play their home games at Staples Center, an arena shared with the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers and the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks.
The franchise began with the 1947 purchase of a disbanded team, the Detroit Gems of the National Basketball League (NBL). The new team began playing in Minneapolis, calling themselves the Minneapolis Lakers. Initially a member of the NBL, the Lakers won the 1948 NBL championship before joining the rival Basketball Association of America (BAA), where they would win five of the next six championships, led by star George Mikan. After struggling financially in the late 1950s following Mikan’s retirement, they relocated to Los Angeles before stalls in attendance and ticket sales led to more struggles. After missing the playoffs for three consecutive seasons and failing to reach player personnel targets set by owner Jerry Buss, former Laker head coach Kurt Rambis was brought out of retirement to lead another rebuilding effort which eventually resulted in their Finals victory led by Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant.
Winning their first NBA championship in 1952, they repeated as champions three years later, cementing their status as one of the league’s dominant teams. After a second period of decline following Magic Johnson’s early retirement due to HIV infection in 1991 and his ensuing departure from basketball activities, they eventually returned to prominence under head coach Phil Jackson, winning five additional championships between 2000 and 2010. As of 2019–20, they hold an NBA-best 33 accumulation wins and have won 16 NBA Finals as well as their first ever MLS Cup appearance in 2020.
Los Angeles Clippers
The Los Angeles Clippers are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles. The Clippers compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league’s Western Conference Pacific Division. The Clippers were founded in 1970 as the Buffalo Braves, one of three expansion teams to join the NBA that year. The Braves moved from Buffalo, New York to San Diego, California in 1978 and became known as the San Diego Clippers. In 1984, the franchise moved to Los Angeles. Through much of its history, the franchise failed to see significant regular season or playoff success. The Clippers were frequently seen as an example of a perennial loser in American professional sports.
After the acquisition of core players Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, and Chris Paul in 2011 and 2012, they qualified for three straight playoff appearances from 2014-16. They then became one of only two teams from 2013-17 to win at least 50 games every season (the other being the San Antonio Spurs). They finished 48-34 during the 2017-18 season, good for fourth place in their division and sixth place overall in the Western Conference standings. As a result of their strong play throughout those years and their recent success, they are currently considered one of the best teams in the NBA today.
The Milwaukee Bucks are an American professional basketball team based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Bucks compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league’s Eastern Conference Central Division. The team was founded in 1968 as an expansion team, and play at the Fiserv Forum. Former NBA MVPs Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson spent significant time with the Bucks, and committed to returning to Milwaukee when they regained control of the franchise in 2014.
After an up-and-down regular season, the Toronto Raptors are finally healthy and playing their best basketball at the right time. Led by quiet superstar Kawhi Leonard, the Raptors have a deep and versatile roster that is capable of giving any team in the league fits.
The Raptors lost star guard Demar Derozan in the offseason, but they have more than made up for it with the additions of Leonard and Danny Green. Green is one of the best three-point shooters in the league, and he provides invaluable experience and leadership for a young Raptors team.
Leonard is one of the best two-way players in the NBA, and he is capable of taking over a game on both ends of the court. He is averaging 27.8 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game this season, and he will be the key to the Raptors’ success in the playoffs.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) Finals is the championship series of the NBA and the conclusion of the sport’s postseason. Each year, two teams face off in a best-of-seven series. The team that wins four games first wins the series and is crowned the NBA champion. The Finals are played in June.
LeBron James is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Widely considered one of the greatest NBA players in history, James is frequently compared to Michael Jordan in debates over the greatest basketball player of all time. He has won four NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) Awards, four NBA Finals MVP Awards, and two Olympic gold medals. James has also been selected to 15 NBA All-Star teams, 12 All-NBA First Teams, and five All-Defensive First Teams.
Kawhi Leonard is an American professional basketball player for the Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played two seasons of college basketball for the San Diego State Aztecs, and was named a consensus second-team All-American as a sophomore. He was selected by the Indiana Pacers with the 15th overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft, but was later traded to the Spurs on draft night. Leonard won an NBA championship with the Spurs in 2014 and was named the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player. He was named to his first All-Star team in 2016.
In 2017, he was awarded his second consecutive Defensive Player of the Year award, becoming just the third player to do so since it was first handed out in 1988. In 2018, Leonard led the Raptors to their best regular season record in franchise history and their first ever NBA Finals appearance where they eventually lost to the Golden State Warriors in six games.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is a Greek professional basketball player for the Milwaukee Bucks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is the Bucks’ starting small forward and power forward, and is also their primary ball handler and playmaker. At 6 feet 11 inches (2.11 m) tall and 242 pounds (110 kg), he has the size of a traditional power forward, but the ball handling and shooting skills of a guard, giving him the ability to play both positions effectively. He was selected 15th overall in the 2013 NBA draft by the Milwaukee Bucks. In 2017–18, he was named Most Valuable Player (MVP) and led the Bucks to their first playoff appearance since 2015.
Pascal Siakam is a Congolese-Canadian professional basketball player for the Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for New Mexico State University. As a junior in 2016–17, he was named Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Player of the Year after averaging 20.3 points, 11.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. After forgoing his senior year, he was selected 27th overall by the Raptors in the 2017 NBA draft.
The Coaches are going to be in the NBA Finals. This is because they are the ones who have the most control over the players and the game. They are also the ones who have the most knowledge about the game and the strategies that can be used to win.
Frank Vogel is an American professional basketball coach who is currently the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He has also served as the head coach of the Indiana Pacers and Orlando Magic. Vogel was born in Wildwood Crest, New Jersey and raised in Harrisonburg, Virginia. He played college basketball at Juniata College, where he was a two-time captain. Vogel began his coaching career in the NBA as an assistant with the Los Angeles Lakers during the 1999–2000 season.
Doc Rivers is an American basketball coach and former player. He is the current head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers. As a point guard, Rivers was known for his defense, scoring, and playmaking.
He was born in Holbrook, Arizona and raised in Pomona, California. After playing college basketball for four years at Division III Pomona-Pitzer Colleges, he began his coaching career as an assistant coach for the varsity team at George Washington High School in Los Angeles. He then became an assistant coach at Occidental College. In 1999, he joined the Phoenix Suns as an advance scout. The following year, he was promoted to video coordinator, a position he held for two seasons before becoming an assistant coach under Scott Skiles in 2002.
Budenholzer spent six seasons with the Suns, the last two as Assistant Head Coach under Terry Porter. In 2008, he became an assistant coach under Gregg Popovich with the San Antonio Spurs, with whom he would win an NBA Championship in 2014.
On May 28, 2013, the Atlanta Hawks announced that they had hired Budenholzer to be their new head coach. In his first season with the Hawks, he led the team to a 38-44 record and a playoff berth. The following season, he was named the NBA Coach of the Year after leading the Hawks to a franchise-record 60 wins and the number one seed in the Eastern Conference.
Nurse is a first-year head coach, but he has plenty of experience as a head coach in the G League and overseas. He’s also been an assistant in the NBA for 11 seasons. He’s widely respected as a tactician and is known for his innovative offense. He has the Raptors playing well above expectations, and they’ll be a tough out in the playoffs.
It is that time of year again. The time when the NBA’s best battle it out on the court to see who will be crowned champion. But who will be in the Finals this year? Let’s take a look at the predictions.
The ESPN staff makes their predictions for the NBA Finals.
-Baxter Holmes: Cavaliers vs. Warriors
-Nick Friedell: Cavaliers vs. Warriors
-Royce Young: Thunder vs. Warriors
-Zach Lowe: Cavaliers vs. Spurs
Many experts are picking the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets to meet in the 2018 NBA Finals.
The Warriors are currently the favorites to win the title, with most oddsmakers giving them around a 50% chance of winning it all. The Rockets are next at around 30%, with the rest of the field (led by the Cleveland Cavaliers at around 10%) way behind.
These two teams have been the best in the NBA all season, and they look like they’re on a collision course for the Finals. The Warriors have won three championships in four years, and they’re looking to cement their place as one of the greatest teams ever. The Rockets have been contenders for years, but they haven’t been able to get over the hump. This could be their year.
Sports Illustrated is picking the Warriors to win it all, but they say it’s going to be a close series. They predict that Golden State will win in seven games.
Blowout wins by the Los Angeles Lakers and the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night clinched the top two seeds in their respective conferences, setting up a potential NBA Finals matchup between the two best teams in the league.
The Lakers, who have been the best team in the Western Conference all season long, will enter the playoffs as the No. 1 seed. They will take on the Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets or Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the playoffs.
The Bucks, who have been dominant all season long, will enter the playoffs as the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. They will take on either the Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers or Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the playoffs.
If both teams win their respective conference finals, they will meet in the NBA Finals for what would be one of the most anticipated matchups in recent memory.