The Finals So Far
The NBA Finals, well the playoffs as a whole really, have been very exciting to watch. Fans of the sport have the pleasure of watching several future Hall of Fame players in their prime. While the NBA is top-heavy in terms of talent distribution, it seemed like there was no clear favorite in these playoffs for the first time in a long time. The end result: an NBA Finals between the Celtics and Warriors.
Game five is Monday in the Bay and the Warriors have tied it at two games a piece. But how will we look back on this series? The NBA Finals are often times defined by a marquee matchup between stars and this year’s Finals certainly delivers. Between these two teams, there are plenty of stars who could find themselves in the Hall of Fame when it is all said and done.
Golden State Warriors
Golden State is loaded with Hall of Fame caliber players. The core group of players on the Warriors – Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, and Draymond Green – have been able to appear in six NBA Finals over the last eight seasons. Including three wins from 2015 through 2019.
Those four are essentially locks for the Hall of Fame. Stephy Curry is the greatest shooter to grace the game of basketball, Klay Thompson is right there with him, Andre Iguodala has been the model of consistency, and Draymond Green is one of the better defenders in NBA history.
The squad also features some future stars like Jordan Poole and James Wiseman. Not to mention, Andrew Wiggins who is already a star in his own right. Wiggins is the closest of this group of players, being as he already has some nice numbers. Put a ring on these guys’ resumes and things will change for them quickly.
Now, this is where the real debate begins. Al Horford is a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame. After two dominant years in Florida, winning two National Championships, that would almost be enough. But Horford has put up some fantastic numbers as well and earned enough individual accolades to get him there.
There are three other players on this squad with Hall of Fame potential. Starting with Marcus Smart, the longest-tenured Celtics player on the squad. After a phenomenal career at Oklahoma State, Smart was drafted as a lottery pick to the Boston Celtics where he provided much-needed depth in the backcourt. Fast forward eight years later, Smart has accumulated three All-Defensive selections and most recently a Defensive Player of the Year Award. The first guard to win since Gary Payton.
Then, you have the two biggest talents on the team: Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. Since the 2019-20 season, both Tatum and Brown have averaged over 20 points per game each. Together, Brown and Tatum have developed into one of the best young superstar tandems in the league. Brown has proven he can bring elite scoring while Tatum is a bona fide superstar and a top SF in the league. Now that they have a Finals appearance, the potential of these two players is being realized.
So Who’s Going To The Hall Of Fame?
Well, let’s start with the obvious. The surefire Hall of Famers on the court are Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Al Horford, Andre Iguodala, and Draymond Green. The Warriors’ trio of players with their three NBA Finals Championships and multiple individual accolades makes them one of the most successful trio of players to play on the same team. As for Al Horford, his longevity, consistency, and success are more than enough to get him in.
You also have to consider Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart, and Jaylen Brown. Each of them has proven that they can be elite in this game. With consistency over the final years of their career, we could absolutely see them in the Hall. With eight Hall of Fame hopefuls in this NBA Finals, it shows there is no shortage of greatness in this series. All we need to do is sit back and enjoy it. With the first four games in the books, there is plenty more excitement ahead.
Check out some of Dan’s other Stadium Rant content here. You can follow him on Twitter @dan_tf40 and check in with his podcast The Fastest 40 on Spotify, Anchor, Apple Podcasts, & anywhere you listen to podcasts!