According to ESPN, this year’s NBA Finals, beginning Thursday, is potentially the most star-studded NBA Finals in history based on player representation from both the Cavaliers and Warriors.
ESPN points out there’ll be seven players who made the All-Star team this year playing in the finals. Cleveland’s big three: Lebron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love were all-stars represented the Eastern Conference in the All-Star game. Meanwhile, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green of the Warriors represented the Western Conference.
According to ESPN’s preseason #NBArank, James, Curry, and Durant were the top three players entering the 2016-2017 NBA season. Additionally, Green, Irving and Thompson were too ranked consecutively 14-16 and Love wasn’t too far behind at no. 28, all players ranking inside the top 30.
Researching previous NBA Finals match ups with at least five all-star representatives, then combining all of their player efficiency ratings from their regular seasons, dubbed “Collective Star-Studded Rating”, ESPN ranked their top 10 finals star-studded NBA Finals of all time.
ESPN’s top 10-6 in order includes the following: the ’73 finals between the Knicks and Lakers; 110.6 rating; the ’52 finals between the Lakers and Knicks, 118.1 rating; the ’56 finals between the Warriors and Pistons, 118.2 rating; the ’13 finals between Heat and Spurs, 123 rating, and the ’12 finals between the Heat and Thunder, 125 rating.
Additionally, their 5-1 in order include: the ’60 finals between the Celtics and Hawks, 126.3 rating; the ’87 finals between the Lakers and Celtics, 131.4 rating; the ’83 finals between the Sixers and Lakers, 148.9 rating; the ’62 finals between the Celtics and Lakers, 154.4 rating, and the impending ’17 finals between the Cavaliers and Warriors.
Disregarding the “Collective Star-Studded Rating”, my personal favorite NBA Finals was the ’14 NBA Finals between the Spurs and Heat. The ultimate redemption story, T. Duncan and the Spurs battled back from losing game 7 of the NBA Finals the year prior to the Heat to win in 5 games against them the following year. The reliance got Head Coach Greg Popovich choked up at the end of the two year odyssey.
What’s your favorite?