The NBA Finals Have A New Guard

The Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks are your NBA finalists, so get over it. We could discuss the path of injured bodies for days. Hell, there’s even a debate about both team’s recent inconsistencies that can take place. But it doesn’t change the clash slated for Tuesday night.

Both of these squads are the example of why you go all in. Never listen to the pundits that speak as if contention is solidified. You set yourself up to take advantage of fate, even in the form of a string of injuries. You trade for the “untradeable” contract of Chris Paul. Always do the deal to land Jrue Holiday and bring in P.J. Tucker. Every team should be taking note and ease off the panic button (Trail Blazers, Jazz!).

Neither team will have a player with a championship ring on the roster. The Bucks are vying for first title since 1971. The Suns are looking for their first in franchise history. I sense a strong feeling of competitive fire brewing on the horizon. It’s exciting me, despite the lack of legendary players on either side.

But maybe there are some legends here. Let’s put Chris Paul and Giannis Antetokounmpo in their proper perspective. These guys are constant MVP candidates (and winners for Greek Freak), All-NBA, all world defenders — they check all the boxes. They may not always present the aesthetic we envision, but they’ve given their teams a breath of generational air.

On the nights when the legends were down, there was Khris Middleton shooting the lights out. Holiday gave you his patented defense. Brook Lopez turned back the hands of time. Tucker is eternal! Bobby Portis is a madman!

And CAM PAYNE — from the NBA graveyard, he rose like the freaking Undertaker. Mikal Bridges is so 3&D, it’s ridiculous — like his picture should be in the dictionary next to the term. The addition of Jae Crowder was polarizing, but he definitely gives the Suns some juice.

And I can’t forget the two emerging stars in DeAndre Ayton and Devin Booker. Two guys that had loads of question despite their obvious talent. I’m so happy that “looter in a riot” is no longer a tag to use against Book. And Ayton has showed that the big man will never die when they have the skill. These Finals will continue to highlight these things.

This is poised to be one of the best Finals ever. The NBA never lets us down. This time around may not feature the usual suspects, but let’s embrace that. It’s only going to give us the product we know and love. Bucks in 6.

I love basketball, horror movies, good food, and my wife.