Misconception: Warriors and Cavs make NBA playoffs less exciting


Written by Rob Werner
Photo via ESPN Images

There has been a steady dose of complaining about the 2017 NBA Playoffs. Many are saying the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers are making the playoffs too predictable.

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith along with many fans and sports reporters have complained that the success of Golden State and Cleveland have made it a forgone conclusion that those two teams are headed to the NBA Finals for the third season in a row making the playoffs less exciting.

However, that is false.

The Warriors and Cavaliers are making the Playoffs more exciting, not less. The idea that two amazingly well-built teams with some of the NBA’s best players could meet for a third straight year on basketball’s biggest stage should have everyone salivating in excitement.

First off, there were some great series in the Playoffs starting in the first round.

The two biggest MVP candidates, James Harden and Russell Westbrook squared off in a thrilling series in which the Beard took the glory, helping the Rockets beat down the Thunder in five games.

The Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Clippers met up in the first round and had a hard-fought series that went to a full seven games. The Jazz led by Gordon Hayward won a game seven on the road stunning Los Angeles.

The Memphis Grizzlies and San Antonio Spurs slugged it out in a series that featured fantastic defense by Tony Allen and Kawhi Leonard. It also produced exciting front court matchups with LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol battling against Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol.

In the East, the Boston Celtics and the Chicago Bulls played a physical first-round series that resulted in the Celtics winning four straight games after losing the first two.

The Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors series was highly-competitive with Toronto winning in six games.

The Atlanta Hawks gave John Wall and the Wizards a tough first test in the first round.

Even the Pacers gave LeBron James a few tough games as the seven seed in Round 1 of the Playoffs.

The first round of the Playoffs was exciting series by series.

The Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards just wrapped up a fantastic seven-game series that looked like it could go either way.

Within the series fans saw two of the NBA’s best point guards face off as John Wall and Isaiah Thomas played some great basketball in the seven-game series.

John Wall saved the Wizards from elimination in Game 6 with a clutch go-ahead three-pointer to give his team a chance to win a Game 7 in Boston at the TD Garden.

Game 7 was a thriller coming down to the final minutes as Kelly Olynyk was the hero for the Celtics scoring 12 points in a three and a half-minute period of the fourth quarter to finish with 26 overall in the game.

While the Rockets and James Harden looked horrible in Game 6 against the San Antonio Spurs, the series was competitive with the Rockets forcing the Spurs to play some great basketball to advance to the Western Conference Finals.

The Spurs and Warriors will be an entertaining matchup as long as Greg Popovich is the head coach of San Antonio because he has had the Warriors number over the majority of his career.

Yes, losing Kawhi in Game 1 over a questionable foul by Zaza Pachulia is not what the NBA fans wanted, but the highly intelligent and defensive-minded Spurs against the offensive juggernaut that is the Warriors should entertain any NBA fan.

The Celtics and the Cavs will be exciting. Watching Isaiah Thomas and the Celtics use the grit that has gotten them to this point will at least force LeBron James and the rest of Cavaliers to play a very high level of basketball.

So, yes, it looks like it will most likely be Golden State and Cleveland facing off with a chance to win the Larry O’Brien trophy for the third time in as many years, but what’s wrong with that?

NBA fans are saying that there is no point of watching the other series when it’s so obvious that the Dubs and Cavs are on a collision-course that will see them meet in a third straight NBA Finals.

What is possibly boring about seeing a trilogy of two all-time great teams battling for a second title in three seasons?

NBA fans should want to see history unfold in the shape of two all-time great teams battling yet again, driving this rivalry further.

The discussion about if LeBron James is the greatest player in the history of the NBA is rising and rising and if he could take down a superteam like Golden State, it seems that many people would crown the King and say he has passed Michael Jordan as the greatest of all-time.

Photo via The Australian


Stephen Curry and Co. are looking for redemption after failing to win last year’s championship after having the greatest regular season in NBA history.

Kevin Durant would get to face off against the King! KD, who it seems like everyone called out for trying to chase a ring and hopping on the Golden State bandwagon, would get to try to win the title that has long eluded him.

Kyrie against Steph another time would be about as exciting a point guard matchup as any in the NBA today.

Listen to Fox Sport’s Colin Cowherd talk about why the Warriors and Cavs would not be bad for the NBA at all, but rather very good.

If the Warriors and Cavaliers meet in the NBA Finals for a third straight year, it will be history.

NBA fans shouldn’t be unhappy or be complaining about the predictable NBA Finals matchup. It will be the most exciting and anticipated basketball played this whole season and there isn’t anyone who should be complaining that it will be the Warriors and Cavs once again.


Rob Werner is a contributing writer for The JR Report. For more news follow him on twitter @robwerner28. Continue reading “Misconception: Warriors and Cavs make NBA playoffs less exciting”

Watch Out for the Washington Wizards

Photo via Washington Times

On January 11, 2017, the Washington Wizards were 19-19 and posed no threat in the upcoming Eastern Conference playoffs. A core of John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter Jr., Markieff Morris and Marcin Gortat is not exactly a starting lineup that keeps LeBron James awake at night.

After the game last Monday against the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Wizards have the NBA talking about a potential matchup in the playoffs with Cleveland. The Wizards are hot! They’re winning games and have played themselves in the middle of the Eastern Conference standings with a 31-21 record.


#2 John Wall (Courtesy of SB Nation)

How have the Wizards gotten so hot?

Let’s start out with the eccentric all-star leader, John Wall. The former number one pick in the 2010 draft has averaged 23 points and 10.5 assists which would both be a career high if this trend continues.

Wall has turned a young and talented team into a dangerous unit that can dominate every aspect of the game. He has given the Wizards the leader the team needed and he has the experience to take Washington on a playoff run that could ultimately lead them in for a series against LeBron James and the Cavs.

Home Court Advantage

Going into the Cleveland matchup on Monday night, Washington had a 17-game home win streak. While the Cavs won the game, there is no doubt in any fan’s mind that the Wizards put up a fight and fell a little short due to what will be considered, shot of the year.

Before the shot heard around the league, Washington was rolling at home; taking down opponents like Chicago, Los Angeles, Memphis, and Boston. When the playoffs roll around, the Wizards will be hard to beat at home. In a big market city like Washington D.C., winning in the playoffs is hard to come by. Don’t be surprised if there are big fan turnouts come April and May.


(Courtesy of NBA.com)

Money Ball

Bradley Beal signed a massive contract this summer which included $128 million over five years. Otto Porter Jr. is a Restricted Free Agent this summer coming off his rookie contract and John Wall is proving that he is worth more than the five-year, $80 million contract extension he signed in 2013.

It makes sense that players will perform better than he usually does when a payday is on the way, and that is the case with the Wizards. Beal’s contract appeared to be a very questionable move by Washington going into the season, but a campaign without injuries is exactly what Beal needed as he is having a career year. Beal has been proving all of his critics wrong as many were appalled by the huge contract Beal received in the offseason. Otto Porter was the third overall pick in a very weak draft. While Porter hasn’t been as disappointing as Anthony Bennett or Alex Len, he hasn’t lived up to his expectations he had at Georgetown.

“Don’t be surprised if you see a seven game series between [Cleveland and Washington] in the Eastern Conference Finals.”

What to Expect for the Rest of the Season

The Wizards have struggled against the top teams in the NBA (Cleveland, San Antonio, Houston, Toronto) with a 0-7 record against these teams and still have four pivotal matchups against Boston, Toronto and Atlanta left to determine the playoff seeding.

Other than that, the Wizards have been tested by the western conference and have a fairly easy schedule to close out the season besides the two matchups with Golden State.

If Washington can stay healthy, they will be a lock to host in the first round of the playoffs. Washington has proven they can beat most teams (especially teams in the Eastern Conference) and that is what will send them far in the playoffs.

This year won’t be an early exit for the Wizards, they are playing good basketball and are only 2.5 games behind the Celtics for the two seed. If you liked what you saw in the Monday night matchup against Cleveland, don’t be surprised if you see a seven game series between the two teams in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Monday, February 13, 2017