Saturday was the 40-year anniversary of the Seattle SuperSonics making regional history.
On June 1, 1979, the Sonics defeated the Washington Bullets 97-93 to claim the NBA championship, becoming the first Seattle team in the modern professional sports era to win a title. The team consisting of the likes of Gus Williams, Dennis Johnson, Fred Brown, and Jack Sikma was one of the first teams I have any conscious memory of, and though I don’t recall it myself I have heard many a story of how everyone in town was blaring Queen’s “We Are the Champions” from their car radios.
Alas, Seattle does not currently have an NBA franchise, so we in the Pacific Northwest have to watch the league from afar for the time being. But the occasion of the Sonics’ 40-year championship anniversary seems an appropriate time for an NBA poll.
The NBA championship series is currently underway between the Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors. The first two games in the best-of-seven series are complete, with Toronto winning the opener 118-109 last Thursday, then Golden State winning Game 2 109-104 Sunday. That knots the series at 1-1 as it heads from Toronto, where the first two games took place, to Oakland for Games 3 and 4.
The Warriors, of course, are the heavy favorites in the series. Golden State is in the midst of a dynasty, as the Warriors are playing in their fifth straight finals, and Golden State won three of its previous four trips, including the last two. The Warriors boast a roster full of superstars, including Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, who seemingly scores points at will.
In contrast, the Raptors are in the NBA finals for the first time in franchise history. Toronto won one more game than Golden State during the regular season, but the Raptors don’t have the same kind of star power on their roster, though they do feature a former NBA finals MVP in Kawhi Leonard.
Although the Warriors are favored, and they took away home-court advantage with their Game 2 victory, they also are banged up. Durant hasn’t played in the finals because of a calf injury, and though reports suggest he’s close to returning, he hasn’t been cleared for practice yet and there’s no indication of whether he’ll be available for Wednesday’s Game 3. Meanwhile, Thompson suffered a hamstring injury during the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game that forced him to miss the final eight minutes. After the game he said he would be fine, but he was scheduled for an MRI Monday.
The first two games in the series were competitive affairs, so the Raptors are giving the Warriors all they can handle so far.
So what do you think? Who do you have winning the NBA championship? Give us your pick here: