Potential NBA Finals Match-Ups

Title: Potential NBA Finals Match-Ups
Date: April 10, 2008
Original Source: Hoops Addict
Synopsis: This Hoops Addict article took a look at the most intriguing potential NBA Finals match-ups. Like all of my HA articles, the links have been lost due to a server transfer, but the text was backed up.

If you are a reader of my site, and you probably aren’t, you have noticed a decline in my basketball content over the past two weeks. It is a problem caused both by baseball season kicking off and ESPN’s J.A. Adande stealing all of my article ideas literally as I sit down to write them. I wanted to discuss this topic, so I’ve avoided ESPN like the plague this week so I could not be accussed of idea stealing, though this topic is certainly nothing unique.
Anyways, I wanted to take a look at the most intriguing potential NBA Finals match-ups for this year’s absolutely-unreal-out-of-this-world-potential playoffs. Keep in mind that I could not dicuss every scenario, since there are 64 (72 if you consider that the West’s 9th seed could steal a spot still). Also, I am skipping over all of the potnetially incredible earlier round match-ups (Paul v. Williams, Kobe v. Shaq, LeBron v. Detroit rematch, G-State v. anybody, etc). Without any more ado, the most intriguing NBA Finals match-ups, in no particular order:
Potential Match-Ups
Boston Celtics v. Los Angeles Lakers
This one is always an intriguing showdown because of the historical context. This year, there is the additional storylines of them being arguably the two best teams in the league, owning one of the most intense players in the league, and both being deeper than anyone expected. Add to that the 3-on-3 potential for the series and that there are MVP argument overtones, and you have what could be the most watched series in some time.
Boston Celtics v. San Antonio Spurs
The match-up we’ve all been waiting an eternity for, Kevin Garnett against Tim Duncan. The two best power forwards of our generation would square off in a battle of 3-star teams with serious depth. They are also arguably the two best teams in the league, and the amount of star power involved is unreal. The biggest story, though, is KG against Duncan, which would be an ESPN Classic caliber battle for seven games and would (maybe) help solve the question of which is better, given comparable teams and situations.
Detroit Pistons v. San Antonio Spurs
Call me boring, but I wouldn’t mind seeing this one again. Yes, it’s bad for the game and was the lowest rated Finals in forever, but also represents a lot of things right with the NBA game. A battle of two team-oriented squads with sound fiscal and roster management who are as close to dynasties as we can get today sounds intriguing to me.
Detroit Pistons v. Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers could face basically anyone and it would be entertaining. I can’t explain why but there is something inherently sexy about this series, with a lot of depth floating around and a possible passing of the guard from the last dynasty (Detroit) to a new dynasty (Lakers, again).
Detroit Pistons v. Utah Jazz
Another potentially boring series, it is a battle of two extremely team-oriented half-court squads with some of th best starting fives in the league. The Okur factor could sneak in a bit, too, but the primary draw here is the grind-it-out team against team battle.
Detroit Pistons v. Phoenix Suns
Originally this would have been slow against fast, disciplined against free wheeling, but now it is just an intriguing clash of styles and philosophies…and another chance for Shaq to anger the Detroit faithful.
Cleveland Cavaliers v. New Orleans Hornets
The best two players under 25 in the league in a 7-game series – how do you not get behind that? Enough said.
Cleveland Cavaliers v. Los Angeles Lakers
LeBron against Kobe. Enough said, right? This isn’t laziness, but every LeBron match-up explains itself.
Cleveland Cavaliers v. Denver Nuggets/Golden State Warriors
Just because LeBron would probably average 50 points a game…though he might do that against anyone.
Orlando Magic v. Phoenix Suns
While it’s not the best two teams, it would have the Grant Hill storyline, the Shaq in Orlando storyline, and Dwight Howard against one of the best big men ever (Shaq) and one of the best today (Amare) in a battle of future greats.
Washington Wizards v. Los Angeles Lakers
We’re getting into very unlikely territory here, but the two biggest media hounds in the league, Gilbert and Kobe, facing off would blow the internet to pieces.
Philadelphia 76ers v. Denver Nuggets
Long shot again, but a Philly team facing off with Iverson in the playoffs would be surreal.
Toronto Raptors v. Utah Jazz
The whitest potential finals match-up…maybe of all time. Toronto v. Phoenix would be good, too, for the Colangelo storyline.
Atlanta Hawks v. New Orleans Hornets
Just to remind Hawks fans that they passed on Chris Paul.
Just writing this column I could hardly control my excitement for the playoffs to get going. One thing that comes to mind looking at all of these is some of the proposed playoff reformatting ideas, such as a 16-seed style instead of conferences. I’m not saying I support those plans, but it certainly does create a lot of potentially awesome showdowns. One week people!

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