After a drama-filled offseason, basketball fans are eagerly anticipating the beginning of the 2018-2019 NBA season. The promise of awkward reunions, renewed rivalries and a highly contested battle for Rookie of the Year has players and fans alike hyped and trash-talking as if the playoffs are upon us. Preseason hasn’t even begun, but when have we ever let that stop us? We asked NYU students for their match-up predictions for the 2018-2019 NBA finals and not everyone said it would be the Golden State Warriors facing the Boston Celtics.
Emilio Torres, Tisch first-year
Favorite NBA team: whichever team LeBron James is on
“The Golden State Warriors’ starting five roster features five all-stars that each provide various forms of depth for the team. [The Celtics] currently have the best coach and best roster in the East. Next year, they will have Kyrie back and a roster that will back him up, making for a team hungry to win after getting their conference title stolen from them. The team is a good mix of younger and older players and they have an incredibly loyal fan base and tremendous legacy and I think they will dominate.
I think the NBA finals will be Golden State versus Boston. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Golden State won, but I am hopeful that the Celtics will. No matter who wins, I think this is the last season of [the Warriors] dominating the NBA.”
Lauren Brown, Gallatin junior
Favorite NBA team: New York Knicks
“I’m going to predict the Knicks because I’m still a #believer and a forever fan. I can’t give up on my home team. And the Lakers because LeBron James is a king who makes everyone else he plays on a team with better.”
Diego Valer, CAS junior
Favorite NBA team: Atlanta Hawks
“The Hawks have the have Trae Young, future Rookie of the Year and MVP. He will change the recent culture there and get the ball to future defensive player of the year John Collins. With the additions of legend Vince Carter and natural leader Jeremy Lin, the Hawks are going to run through the Eastern Conference and win the championship against the Warriors, dropping no more than one game in the Finals.”
Max Gordon, Stern first-year
Favorite NBA team: Utah Jazz
“As far as the Celtics go, they are the clear pick in the East, especially with Lebron going to the Lakers. They will get Hayward and Kyrie back from injury to improve a team that still performed well without them in the playoffs. Tatum should only get better, especially under the [guidance] of one of the better coaches in the NBA, Brad Stevens. In the West, the Jazz were a complete homer pick. If I’m being realistic it’s the Warriors. [The Jazz] have great depth but are lacking the superstar talent. Donovan Mitchell is developing into one and Gobert is a top 25 player in the league, but they are missing one more top piece to get them to the point where they can challenge the top tier in the West.
“So, in short, I think it will be Golden State versus Boston and I think Golden State will win again in six.”
Jake Mauldin, LS first-year
Favorite NBA team: Atlanta Hawks
“The Hawks will face Golden State — it’s already destined to happen. Golden State’s far and away the best in the West so they’ll be in the finals. However, they’ll lose in four to the Hawks. The Hawks in a single draft have bettered [the] Warriors’ formula by getting [Trae] Young and Kevin Huerter. People say the Hawks won’t get to the playoffs, but that’s just being ignorant of the unstoppable talent they’ve brought in and developed for this year’s playoff run.”
The NBA preseason begins on Saturday, Sept. 29 when the Charlotte Hornets take on the Boston Celtics at 7:30 p.m. EST.
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