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NBA: Finally Finals

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Seven-and-a-half months later, we’re about to get to the (theoretically) best part

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Detroit Pistons Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

I blinked my eyes, and in an instant, decades had passed

- John Mark Green

For Halloween this last year, what was your costume? I talked my wife into being half of a priest-and-pregnant-nun combo that was either loved or despised at every party we stopped at.

It was also two weeks into the current NBA season. Somehow, those 90-100 games and 227 days fairly flew by. Tonight, we start the series that decides it all. Though your Denver Nuggets will not be representing the Western Conference in this years Finals, they certainly finally made some inroads on a Finals series that Nuggets Nation hopes to witness in the next half-decade or so.

As it is, there is plenty of drama to go around for even the most casual of basketball fans. Representing the West is (shocker) the Golden State Warriors, appearing in their fifth Championship series in a row. They’ve won three of the last four, with the only blemish being their finest regular season of the bunch. Hell, being the finest regular season in history. Should the Warriors take this series as well and be winners of four of the last five titles, they’ll find themselves with only the storied Boston Celtics being able to claim anything historically superior.

Trying to keep them from such lofty heights is a team that has been chomping at the bit to reach this stage in the Toronto Raptors, owners of several regular season first-place finishes themselves, but always on the outside looking in until this season. After a calculated-but-risky trade during this past offseason, former Nuggets GM Masai Ujiri bought and brought former Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard into the fold, and the risk has paid dividends, with Leonard and the Raptors finally knocking off the MVP in their way as they ascend to the last series.

Their chances may be better than many oddsmakers are giving them, with Toronto owning home court in the series, and two-time Finals MVP Kevin Durant having missed the last five games the Warriors have played in. Contradicting that logic is that fact that Golden State has won all five of those games, including a sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference Finals. It is safe to say that nearly anything could happen as an outcome in this last series, which is exactly what the NBA and any hoops fan not attached at the hip to either of these franchises could hope for. The world is simply pure possibility in terms of outcomes, and the stories of both franchises and many of their individual stars makes for compelling drama going into the series.

Will long-time Raptors guard Kyle Lowry finally get to bring a Championship North of the border? Will Toronto Center Marc Gasol finally get a ring he was pursuing for years in Memphis? Can semi-hobbled superstar Leonard pull a few more miracles out of wherever he’s been yanking them from? Or will Steph Curry simply have too many unstoppable moments? Will Klay Thompson take his All-NBA slight so personally that he simply destroys everything in front of him? Can Durant come back in time to give any meaningful minutes? What about DeMarcus Cousins, yet another All-Star who has been off the court the better part of these playoffs for the Warriors? Will Draymond Green keep being inexplicably quiet and dare I say, mature in these playoffs? There are more dramatic stories to follow in these Finals than there are in a typical daytime soap opera. This ending is nothing if not compelling.

The final chapter of the 2018-2019 NBA season begins tonight, Nuggets Nation. Whether it ends with a whimper or a bang, the league has seen another fascinating and addictive year fly by. Here’s hoping they can wrap it up with all the style and promise that has gotten them here. Get out the popcorn and your favorite beverage, this ought to be a Finale to remember. We made it to the Finals. Finally.

Poll

Who wins the Finals and how?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    Warriors in 4
    (1 vote)
  • 1%
    Raptors in 4
    (2 votes)
  • 10%
    Warriors in 5
    (20 votes)
  • 2%
    Raptors in 5
    (5 votes)
  • 34%
    Warriors in 6
    (65 votes)
  • 17%
    Raptors in 6
    (32 votes)
  • 6%
    Warriors in 7
    (12 votes)
  • 26%
    Raptors in 7
    (49 votes)
186 votes total Vote Now