Post by Miege22 on May 2, 2021 20:51:05 GMT -5
The two-year reign of a respected champion is over… and, now, two new teams vie for the NBA title. Despite a similar path to the finals, these two franchises took vastly different journeys to this point.
For the Seattle Supersonics, the beginning of this story can be traced back 15 months ago, nearly to the day. With their season hanging in the balance, they made one of the boldest deadline deals in league history, trading for Bradley Beal… with just two minutes to spare. That one move propelled them into the playoffs, where they upset the top-seeded Kings, and looked poised to make their first Finals in franchise history… until the world came to a halt. Now, with many of the same cast of characters returning, Seattle will attempt to finish the story they began writing last year.
In their way is a fellow newcomer to the biggest stage. After two straight first round losses, the Chicago Bulls finally broke through to the conference finals. But they didn’t stop there. Led by Nikola Vucevic and Julius Randle, the latter a man who was traded three times this past offseason, the Bulls defeated a battered and beat up Tampa Bay Bull Sharks to advance to their first NBA Finals. Perhaps no one has come to represent this team better than Randle, a player who has consistently proven his doubters wrong in this postseason run. Do the Bulls have one last rebuttal for the rest of the league? Or will this be a storybook finish for the Sonics. The NBA Finals. Next.
How They Got Here
Chicago is the #3 seed from the East. They finished 8-6 and won the North Division. The Bulls defeated Miami 7-2 in the first round and knocked off Tampa Bay in the conference finals, 5-4.
Seattle is the #3 seed in the Western Conference, finishing 10-4. They were first in the Pacific Division. They defeated Kansas City in the first round, 6-3, then upset Houston in the conference finals, 6-3.
Regular Season Meeting
These two faced off in week 9 (Feb. 15 - Feb. 21), a 7-2 victory for the Supersonics
Chicago - Donovan Mitchell (ankle - out); Deni Avdija (leg - out); Tyler Herro (foot - DTD); Nikola Vucevic (adductor - DTD
Seattle - James Harden (hamstring - out); Dennis Schroder (health protocols - DTD); Jae Crowder (ankle - DTD)