The NBA may be more interesting than it has been in the past few years. Fans have watched the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors duke it out for the past four years in the NBA Finals, and now many are hoping for two new teams as the playoff race heats up.
According to ClutchPoints, two teams that fans could see in the 2019 NBA Finals include the Toronto Raptors and the Portland Trail Blazers. This is, at least according to NBA analyst Kenny Smith, who broached the subject on TNT with his fellow analysts.
The Raptors, who are led by Kawhi Leonard, are currently No. 2 in the Eastern Conference, second only to Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks. Many NBA fans believe that either the Raptors, Bucks, or Boston Celtics will walk away with the Eastern Conference Championship this season, with other teams such as the Indiana Pacers and the Philadelphia 76ers also vying to get into the Finals.
Meanwhile, the Western Conference is a different story. It’s no surprise to fans to see the Golden State Warriors, with their five All-Star starters, Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, and DeMarcus Cousins, leading the conference.
However, the Denver Nuggets are right on their tails, trailing them by only half a game. The Thunder are in third place, and the Portland Trail Blazers are in the No. 4 spot ahead of the Houston Rockets.
If things stand pat for the rest of the season, the Blazers would be taking on the Houston Rockets. Reigning MVP James Harden has been on the warpath, averaging 36.2 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 7.7 assists for the Rockets, despite some of the issues the team has had with injuries throughout the course of the season.
Things have certainly been shaken up a bit in the West, and it looks like not everyone is so confident that the Warriors will win another championship in 2019, or that they’ll even make it to the NBA Finals this time around.
The outlet reveals that it seems like a “slim possibility” that the Raptors and Trail Blazers will be playing each other come June, but nothing is impossible, and fans who aren’t rooting for the Warriors would certainly love to see a much more different-looking NBA Finals this year after four years of the same teams playing, and Golden State taking home multiple titles.
The final weeks of the season will certainly speak volumes going into April’s playoff picture, and fans will be keeping a close on out for the Raptors in the East and the Trail Blazers in the West when it comes to the race to the NBA Finals.