Grading all Possible NBA Finals Matchups

Image Credit: (Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

The NBA Conference Finals are in full swing, and it’s about time the NBA Finals got brought up. With four teams hoping to make it to that elusive final stage, all the fans can do is hope for the best final matchup (or their favorite team’s success). Let’s grade these possible matchups on entertainment value, historic merit, and fan bias.

Golden State Warriors and Miami Heat

If each series ended today, this would be the matchup. Between Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green, Jimmy Butler, Kyle Lowry, and Bam Adebayo, there is certainly no lack in star power. For this, the entertainment value would have to be an A. As for historic value, these two teams have never faced off in the NBA Finals. However, they have both won the championship in recent history. Multiple times, in fact. The Heat last won in 2013, while the Warriors won in 2018. Overall, this nets them a B. The fan bias in this series would be strong. There are a lot of Warriors fans out there looking for another championship for their beloved franchise. On the Heat’s side, there is still a strong fan base there, but not as strong as there is in San Francisco. This is a B as well.

Overall Grade: B+

Dallas Mavericks and Boston Celtics

For this matchup to happen, both of these teams would have to come back in their respective series. However, it is still a possible matchup. The entertainment value in this series might lack a bit with the Mavericks only having one superstar (Luka Doncic). The Celtics have a good cast with Tatum, Brown, and co. This gets a C+. As for historic merit, these teams do not have a shared Finals appearance. However, both teams have a championship, with the Celtics having 17 of them. It earns them a B-. Fan bias is definitely present on one end of the spectrum (Celtics fans). Mavericks have a strong fan base as well, but not so much as the Celtics do. B-.

Overall Grade: B-

Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics

Entertainment value: A+

Jayson Tatum, Steph Curry, Jaylen Brown, Klay Thomspon, Marcus Smart, Andrew Wiggins, Robert Williams, and Draymond Green. How much better can you get?

Historic merit: B+

They’ve never met in the Finals, but they have 22 combined championships between the two of them. That’s really something.

Fan bias: A+

This is a lot of fan bias. These are some very passionate fan bases.

Overall Grade: A

Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat

Entertainment value: C+

Luka vs. the Heat. How fun.

Historic merit: A+

Finally, two teams who have faced off in the Finals. These two have a history together. They first faced off in 2006 when Dwyane Wade’s upstart Heat took down Dirk Nowitzki’s underdog Mavericks. Then, in 2011, Nowitzki and the Mavericks were back and once again the underdogs as Miami had the big 3 of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. Nevertheless, the Mavs won their first and only championship.

Fan bias: B-

The fan bias won’t be necessarily as strong as these other matchups. Nonetheless, the fans will still be there and there will still be some tension between the two franchises.

Overall Grade: B

The Final Results

Based on all of this, the final NBA Finals matchup awards are listed below.

Best for Entertainment: Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics

Best for Basketball Historians: Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat

Best for the Fans: Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics

Best Overall Matchup: Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics

So, it looks like we should all be crossing our fingers for a Warriors-Celtics Finals matchup, huh?

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