The NBA finals have just started, and we’re all looking forward to seeing who will win the championship! Here are a few things to consider about each team and what to expect.
The Boston Celtics are one win away from the NBA Championship. They have a solid rotation of two-way players, great defense, and the stingiest turnover rate in the league. If they can do this, they will have their first championship in seven years.
They’re coming off a 110-88 victory over the Warriors on March 16. In their previous meeting, the Celtics won in Game 4 by shooting 38.7% from the field. This series has been a tale of two halves.
The Celtics have struggled on offense after the break. Golden State has a knack for baiting opponents into taking threes. Despite the lack of on-ball creation, the Celtics’ defense has been smart in this series. It has allowed them to limit contested shots and off-ball actions.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers entered the 2010-11 season as the favorite to win the Western Conference. But they failed to reach that status. They finished a disappointing 42-30 and were the sixth seed in the NBA’s play-in tournament. Ultimately, they lost to the Milwaukee Bucks, who went on to win the championship.
Before the 2010-11 season, the Lakers had won eight NBA finals in the past 10 seasons, including two in the past three years. They also defeated Seattle SuperSonics, the top-seeded team in the Western Conference, in 2009. However, they had to go through the Detroit Pistons in the first round of the playoffs. In a four-game series, they fell behind 3-2.
A few weeks after the season ended, the Lakers fired general manager Mitch Kupchak. In the same year, the Lakers traded for Brook Lopez and Timofei Mozgov. They also hired Rob Pelinka as general manager.
The Chicago Bulls reached the NBA finals in 1996 and 1997. But the team’s championship era came to an end. In 1999, the Bulls lost the NBA championship to the Utah Jazz. Afterward, Jerry Krause decided to rebuild the team. And he did, signing a young nucleus of players, including Eurostar Nikola Mirotic and Ben Wallace.
Before the start of the 2008-09 season, the Bulls were a losing team. But they finished with a 47-35 record. This was a huge improvement over the 29-59 mark they had accumulated the previous season. They also set a franchise record for win-loss records.
After an 0-9. The Bulls started their 2009-10 campaign with an 0-6 record. The team traded their leading scorer, Ben Gordon, to the rival Pistons in the offseason.
The Phoenix Suns are back in the NBA Finals for the first time in over two decades. In the early 2000s, they were considered mediocre and didn’t make a playoff run until the 2010-11 season. This time around, they could win their first title in franchise history.
After a disappointing regular season, they went on a whirlwind of a run to win the Western Conference. They beat the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors, the Denver Nuggets, and the Los Angeles Clippers. During their first-round series against the Los Angeles Lakers, the Suns won six games. Despite being the second seed in the West, they were matched up with the eventual Western Conference champions.
In the Conference Finals, the Suns defeated the defending NBA champions in a four-game sweep. While they didn’t make the All-Star team, their balanced offense and passing defense made them a threat to anyone on the court.
Golden State Warriors
When the Golden State Warriors defeated the Boston Celtics in six games in the NBA Finals, it marked the fourth time in eight years that the Warriors won a championship. That’s two more than the previous record for the Warriors, which came in 2015 when they won five consecutive titles.
The Warriors’ win was a testament to the persistence and a sense of identity. After missing the playoffs for the second straight season, the Warriors returned with a new group of players. And they beat a Celtics team that had been deeper, more athletic, and more talented.
In the postseason, the Warriors became ruthless. They went on a 52-25 run to close out the first half of the game. Then, in Game 6, Stephen Curry had a ferocious night, scoring a game-high 34 points and adding seven assists and seven rebounds. His teammates shot 63% when he was on the court.