The NBA Playoffs are coming to a close with the NBA Finals beginning. This season we have had a very different yet similar NBA Playoffs. No Lebron and an early exit for Kevin Durant led to new stars taking their place in the NBA landscape; however, we're back with Golden State. So as some things change as others stay the same.

With the matchup of Boston vs Golden State here are 5 things you need to watch out for in this year's NBA Finals

1. Stephen Curry & His Potential 4th Championship

2022 NBA Finals - Media Day
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The biggest thing coming into this NBA Finals has to be Stephen Curry.  With the potential of winning a 4th championship, the legacy talks have already begun with Steph. He has the potential to show that hey "Im still that guy even without Kevin Durant". Steph's legacy will forever be a game-changing generational guard; however, you add a fourth championship and a potential finals MVP. Now we have to put Steph in a different stratosphere.

Stephen Curry would have to be considered a top 10 NBA player of all time, and the 2nd best point guard of all time. The most 3 pointers of all time is already his record. He has the only unanimous MVP award in NBA history. Adding a fourth championship to his already stacked legacy puts Steph in that Magic, Kobe, Lebron conversation.

2. The Emergence Of Jayson Tatum

Boston Celtics v Miami Heat - Game Seven
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The NBA is always looking for its next superstar. This past season we prematurely anointed guys like Ja Morant, Luka Doncic, Trae Young, and Devin Booker as the next guy to lead the NBA. Giannis Antetokounmpo is technically the guy in the lead right now in terms of the post Golden State era being that he has multiple MVPs and a championship. However with the consistent play of Tatum and now leading his team to the finals he has a chance to give Giannis competition.

Jayson Tatum needs to give the Celtics a historic performance to beat the juggernaut that is the Golden State Warriors. If he does that then he jumps the line of "it" guys. Tatum has the thing that NBA fans love which is a player with supreme skill. He can shoot the fadeaway, he can shoot the step-back three, he can get to the paint, and he plays defense. The guy does it all. All that is left is an NBA Championship.

3. The Rebirth Of Klay Thompson

Dallas Mavericks v Golden State Warriors - Game Five
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

This is a feel-good story for me. Klay Thompson didn't play basketball for 940 days. Back-to-back injuries kept Thompson out of the game of basketball for two seasons. The fact that he has overcome those setbacks and helped his team to the finals is legendary. This might be my favorite story of the Finals. The reason why is because the game is better with Thompson. He is someone who hardly complains and always gives it his all on both sides of the game. He is someone you just have to route for.

On his way to the finals, Thompson was the man for Golden State in game 7 of the Western Conference Championship. Thompson scored 32 points to seal the deal for the Warriors. Yes, he may not be as quick as he once was but that game showed he can still explode for a point barrage from all over the floor. I love seeing Klay Thompson back in action.

4. Marcus Smart vs Stephen Curry

This is more of an x's and o's thing than a storyline. However, this factor plays into what happens with Steph. We have the battle of Defensive Player of The Year Marcus Smart vs MVP Stephen Curry.

Smart is known for his gritty defense and will have to chase Steph around this entire series. For the Celtics to win Marcus Smart needs to slow Stephen Curry down. Yes, Tatum's offense is important but Smart's defense may be even more important. Because if you can slow down the greatest shooter ever you yourself don't need as many points.

For Steph can you beat this great defender? If you want to be the 2nd best point guard of all time and get that 4th ring then what a task to overcome. This is one matchup I'm dying to see.

5. Will Golden State Reign As An NBA Dynasty

This is one where it's a look at the Warriors in total. After watching the documentary The Last Dance and the HBO show Winning Time I'm left looking at the Warriors in this light. For the Warriors to be back in the Finals shows competence with the front office of the highest degree. From the top down the Warriors have been great. Replacing KD with Andrew Wiggins, adding Jordan Poole, and the rest of the young guys put the Warriors in a position to win past this year. We are witnessing the potential birth of one of the greatest NBA dynasties. If they win this will be the start of the second run. Not many teams have had a second run after the first with winning championships. The teams that come to mind are the Bulls, Lakers, Spurs, and Celtics. Outside of those teams, the Warriors are next up.

These NBA Finals look to be a great one. I believe the Warriors will win in 7 however I'm just excited for the finale of this NBA season.

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