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May 21, 2018 | by  | in Sports |
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NBA Season: Just Like the Movies

The 2018 NBA Finals will start on 31 May, a little over a week away. It will be a predictable end to what has been, for many, a predictable season. Watching the NBA season this year has been like watching your favourite movie for the third or fourth time: there may be some parts in the middle you had forgotten about, some of the jokes are still hilarious, but the ending is still the same.

It seems like forever since 17 October, when the season’s opening game between Eastern Conference rivals the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers was delayed, following new Celtics signing Gordon Hayward gruesomely snapping his ankle just 5 minutes into his first game for the 17-time champions, ending his season before it had really begun.

Since then, the NBA season has trudged along. There have been a few pleasant surprises like the Philadelphia 76ers making a return to the playoffs for the first time since 2012, lead by promising duo Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. The Toronto Raptors quietly going about their business, claiming the 1st seed in the Eastern Conference, the rise and maturity of Donovan Mitchell, who pushed the Houston Rockets to five games in the second round of the playoffs, and of course Anthony Davis finally coming into his own in New Orleans and winning his first playoff series.

However, these pleasant surprises are like the parts of a re-watched movie you had forgotten about. Everything else is what it has always been. LeBron James (Superman) is still the best player in the league despite being in his 15th year, the Golden State Warriors continue to play as the villains of the competition, with big bad Kevin Durant, his sidekick Steph Curry, and the rest of the entourage cruising through the regular season and first two rounds of the playoffs with ease. James Harden chucked up more three pointers than you could poke a stick at, and of course an NBA season wouldn’t be complete without some sort of drama surrounding Russell Westbrook at OKC, who faced a huge amount of criticism following a first round playoff exit, even though he averaged a triple-double for the second consecutive season.

Like a classic superhero film, this season will (yet again) have a predictable ending. The Golden State Warriors will beat LeBron and the Cavaliers in the NBA finals in five or six games, once again proving that the league is a guard dominated league and that shooting the three ball has revolutionised today’s game. They will win their third title in just four years, prolonging the dynasty in Oakland, and demonstrating why teams should live and die by the three.

It would be absurd for any NBA fan, myself included, to say that they won’t watch the NBA anymore because it has become too predictable. While it may be frustrating to have the same two teams in the finals for the fourth consecutive year, like your favourite movie, you watch it because you love the story, or the jokes, or the characters. No one watches a movie for the fourth time because they want to be surprised by the ending.

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