Every NBA finals series brings with it a set of firsts or new things. This time, besides the very long break leading up to the games, there’s Stephen Curry playing against each and everyone of the All-NBA first team selections, while David Blatt and Steve Kerr, rookie head coaches the both of them, doing something that hasn’t been done in 69 years.
Rookie coaches for the first time
Never in NBA history have two rookie head coaches took their teams to the NBA finals. Well, except for the inaugural season, but that doesn’t really count, does it? It’s hard to call Blatt a rookie thought. He’s been in this kind of situation, a Finals series, a number of times in a number of countries. He has won the European Championship with Russia. He has won the Euroleague, the premier club basketball competition in Europe, just last year. Obviously, it’s a whole new set of predicaments and circumstances for him, but he isn’t new to feeling the pressure of winning a championship.
Kerr is the less experienced one, actually coaching for the first time only this year. But just like the rest of his players, who none of them have ever been this far in the playoffs, it seems like the quality is trumping any discussion, argument or doubt about whether or not their experience and past milestones in the league qualify them to win a championship.
The road Stephen Curry took
Stephen Curry is the league’s MVP. He’s also part of the the All-NBA first team selection. The other players on it? Anthony Davis, Marc Gasol, James Harden. All three players faced Curry in these playoffs. All were beaten by him. Oh, and there’s one more guy on this list. LeBron James. Yes, now Curry and his team are facing him in the finals. Talk about ‘beating the best to become the best’.
Oh, and there’s the thing about the long layoff. But because it means rust for both teams, it shouldn’t be a factor.