Admit it, we all know the Warriors are gonna win again just because, but that doesn't mean we can't reminisce about everything that happened before the Finals.
1. No KD, no problem
The Warriors swept the Blazers, all with one of their superstars, Kevin Durant, sidelined with a leg injury. The Warriors didn't only look fine without him, they looked better, an interesting development with Durant set to hit free agency this summer.
2. Houston, we have a problem
Down three games to two, in a win or go home situation, at home, with Kevin Durant sidelines, the Rockets, a team specifically built to beat the Warriors, couldn't even beat them when they were injured. With teams like the Nuggets, Jazz, and Blazers on the rise and Chris Paul's age, this may well have been Houston's last opportunity to win a title with its current core.
3. Kawhi just won't let the raptors lose
The Raptors were decidedly a worse overall team than the 76ers, but they had the best player of the two: Kawhi Leonard. Tied at 90 in Game Seven with three seconds to go, Leonard hit the game-winning shot that propelled the Raptors to the next round. Good for them, but Toronto has to find more production from their supporting cast if they want any chance to make any more noise.
4. Joel Embiid needs to go to whole foods more often
Embiid has an injury history, and this series against the Raptors was no exception. Instead of the issue being his knee, however, it was "gastrointestinal distress." Embiid is one of the most talented players in the league, but if he wants to take his game and his team to the next level, he has to do a much better job of staying in shape.
5. Giannis IS the MVP
Regardless of how the Bucks' season ends, the two-horse race between Giannis and Harden for MVP has been decided. After going off against the Celtics in a decisive five-game series victory, Giannis thoroughly beat him out, even if the Raptors ended up reaching the Finals instead.
6. Triple-doubles don't win playoff games
For the second straight season, Russell Westbrook averaged a triple-double, the only player ever to do. But for the second straight year, the Thunder couldn't advance past the first round of the playoffs, even with fellow superstar Paul George. It's time to wonder if Westbrook, as talented as he is, can be the centerpiece of a franchise that the Thunder want him to be.
7. Portland blazes hot and dies out quick
Damian Lillard put himself in the conversation of the elite players in the NBA with clutch performances in the first two rounds, including a dagger against the Thunder that will be remembered for years to come. Unfortunately, "Dame Time" passed and the clock struck midnight as the Blazers were soundly defeated by the Warriors in a 4-0 sweep. The Blazers were a fun surprise, but the Cinderella story ends in the semifinal round.
8. Nuggets lose the series, but win the future
The Nuggets lost to the Blazers in seven games, but are still on an upward trajectory. With All-NBA First Team Center Nikola Jokic, and talented young pieces in Jamal Murray, Gary Harris, Malik Beasley, and soon the services of their most recent draft pick Michael Porter, the Nuggets are set to be playoff contenders at least for years to come.
9. Clippers make their free agency case
The Clippers took the defending champs to six games in a series many thought they had no chance in. The team became known all season for being greater than the sum of its parts, and with superstars like Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant and Anthony Davis considering the team as a potential landing spot this summer, the Clippers have made a strong case that coming to their team means being able to win now.
10. Celtic's luck runs out
The Celtics were seen as a favorite to compete for a championship this season. However, after a season of dysfunction and a quarterfinals exit, only disarray and disappointment remains. Their star player Kyrie Irving is likely leaving with his contract set to expire in a few months, and many players on the team are unhappy or aging out of their primes. The Celtics will still be decent, maybe even a playoff team, but for now their championship aspirations are gone.
Oh, yeah — the Magic, Nets, Pistons, Pacers, Spurs, and Jazz were there too. Unfortunately for them, nobody cares. Anyway, that was the playoffs, the parts that mattered anyway. Time to see another Warriors sweep...yay.