The NBA’s regular season is anything but done. However, there are already four teams that have clinched a playoff berth, according to ESPN, which means time is running out for other contenders to get their ticket to the postseason.
And even if we may have an idea as to what teams are about to make their way to the big stage, they still need to figure out the playoff seeding, which could eventually decide their fate depending on the matchup.
But let’s just pretend for a second that we already know all the teams that are going to make the playoffs. Let’s play God and have some fun imagining they’ve gone through it all and made it to the NBA Finals.
Obviously, with the Coronavirus outbreak, we’ll have to wait for a while before the NBA Finals, as well as the betting lines and all the information because the season will likely be postponed until June, July, or even August.
Close your eyes for a second and picture your perfect NBA Finals matchup. Which teams come to mind? Who do you want to see? Who would you bet your money on if lines were up right now?
Today, we’re going to let you know about the top 5 NBA Finals matchup all fans want to see:
5. Los Angeles Clippers vs. Boston Celtics
Ok, the Los Angeles Clippers have put together one of the deepest teams in the history of the NBA, so even if rotations tend to shorten in the playoffs, they’ll have enough fresh legs and steady contributors to make it to the Finals.
The Boston Celtics may have struggled to keep up with the Milwaukee Bucks in terms of consistency, but they can take any team any given night and they’re one of the strongest teams at home.
We’d all love to see Doc Rivers and Brad Stevens get into a tactic battle for the ages. Also, the Celtics have enough wing depth and good defenders to match up with Kawhi Leonard, Lou Williams, Paul George, and Montrezl Harrell.
The Clippers have assembled a terrifying squad to win their first-ever NBA Championship and it feels the only team deep enough in the East to actually take them to seven games are the Boston Celtics. A Tatum-Leonard matchup? Yes, please.
4. Los Angeles Clippers vs. Toronto Raptors
The Toronto Raptors were the second team in the league to clinch a playoff berth. They did it without Kawhi Leonard and have dealt with countless injuries since the start of the season, so Nick Nurse definitely deserves some consideration for Coach of the Year.
The Raptors have developed a strong identity and rapport. They’re deadly in the defensive end and have a lot of weapons and guys that can step up. There’s no ego on that team and those are the squads that often play like they don’t have anything to lose.
Kawhi Leonard gave the Raptors not only their first appearance in the NBA Finals but also their first-ever Championship. He’s an icon and an idol up north even despite the fact that he took his talents to the Clippers.
So, it’d be very interesting seeing him go at it vs. his former team, as we know they have enough defensive resources to make him uncomfortable. They have a big heart, savvy veterans, and young players that are willing to put their body on the line on every possession.
3. Houston Rockets vs. Milwaukee Bucks
Ok, we get it. Not everybody’s sold on the Houston Rockets, their small-ball, and playoff James Harden. However, if there’s a team that could stop the Clippers or Lakers from making it to the Finals, that’s the Rockets.
Both James Harden and Russell Westbrook are playing with a chip on his shoulder, so if they manage to bring that fire to the playoffs and be at their best, they’d have the most unstoppable backcourt the league has seen in ages.
Also, the Milwaukee Bucks have been - by far - the most dominant team in the league, yet people still underestimate them come playoff time, so this would be a bit of an underdog vs. underdog scenario if you will.
Add that Harden-Antetokounmpo beef into the mix and you have a recipe for mayhem. Anything can happen when two of the greatest players in the world hate each other and face off for the Larry O’Brien trophy. Fans would love to see it.
2. Los Angeles Lakers vs. Boston Celtics
Who wouldn’t love to see an old-fashioned Lakers-Celtics Finals? This is the hardest, most documented rivalry in NBA history, so we’ll definitely take it every time we have the chance of doing so.
We all know Brad Stevens’s defensive-oriented mind and it would be interesting to see how he plans to stop LeBron James and Anthony Davis. We also know for a fact that Jayson Tatum isn’t scared of matching up with the King.
Both teams won at home during the regular season so we’d expect that trend to continue in the playoffs. The Celtics have more depth, but the Lakers have arguably the best duo in the whole Association.
Also, the Lakers are on a mission this year. They’re dedicating the season to Kobe Bryant, and there wouldn’t be a better way to pay tribute to the Black Mamba than beating the Celtics in the Finals, just like he did the last time they made it to the ultimate stage.
1. Los Angeles Lakers vs. Milwaukee Bucks
And finally, we’re sure we’d all love to see seven games of LeBron James vs. Giannis Antetokounmpo. The past (and present) vs. the future, the King vs. the Greek Freak. This is just a marquee matchup for the ages.
The Bucks have crushed their opposition throughout the regular season but whether they’ll be able to keep their foot on the gas in the playoffs is yet to be seen. Luckily for them, they have a well-round up squad that could match up against all teams in the East.
The Lakers would most likely have to get past the Clippers in the playoffs, while the Bucks would have to overcome the Raptors or Celtics. We’d get to see both teams banged up playing their hearts out to make a statement here.
It’s almost impossible to guess which team would come on top if they faced each other, but we can try the best NBA line and make some money with a couple of bets.
On one hand, we’ll root for LeBron James’ legacy as he’d enter the GOAT conversation again. On the other, we’d love to see Giannis Antetokounmpo climb his way to the throne. We can make up our minds, but we know we’d get to see seven games of the highest level of basketball.