Following the Boston Celtics 4-0 sweep of the Brooklyn Nets and the Los Angeles Lakers inability to make the playoffs, this NBA season marks the first time in 17 years that fans will not see LeBron James and Kevin Durant in the second round of playoffs.
The staggering stat has led fans and sports critics alike to believe that a new era of basketball is on the horizon. between 2011-18, James has made eight straight NBA Finals and won three of his titles during this time. He also led the Lakers to a championship title in 2020. KD won back-to-back titles with the Golden State Warriors in 2017 and 2018, also making the NBA Finals in 2012 with OKC and 2019 with the Warriors.
Both the Lakers and the Nets entered the season with a packed roster of star-studded powerhouse players. The Lakers were expected to dominate the league with Carmelo Anthony, Russell Westbrook and Dwight Howard playing alongside LeBron James. However, due to injuries, AD and James sat out for many games, which impacted the success of the team. Injuries coupled with poor stats from Westbrook was also a large factor in their demise. The Nets faced a mid-season interruption that saw James Harden traded to Philadelphia 76ers for Ben Simmons. However, the trade proved to be non-beneficial seeing that the Nets were recently eliminated.
With the rise of young stars like Ja Morant, who recently won the NBA’s MIP award, fans are calling this an end of an era and are skeptical of whether or not KD and King James will be able to find their way back to the finals next season.
In other sports news, Ja Morant wins NBA’s most improved player award.
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