A lot has changed in the NBA over the years. The league is now more competitive than ever with players like LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, and Kyrie Irving all playing for titles. This year’s playoffs have been especially exciting with a number of upsets and star players taking their games to new heights.
The fadeaway world is a theory of the NBA if there was no playoff and injuries. It would be interesting to see who would win the championship in 2023 with the Nets, and in 2018 with the Rockets.
Injuries are a common occurrence in the NBA. The whole trajectory of NBA history would have been altered if there had never been any injuries. That is why, according to former players and experts, health is the single most crucial element in a team’s championship prospects each year. Even the most talented squad can’t reach greatness if its top players aren’t healthy.
There are significant variations in the results of each Finals series among the past 20 NBA winners. If health hadn’t been a problem, the bulk of the champions over the previous two decades would still be champions, but there would have been significant changes in certain years. The victor of the NBA championship in 2023 may be the most recent example.
Sacramento Kings, 2002
The 2002 season was perhaps the most divisive in history. The referees are generally considered to have assisted the Los Angeles Lakers in defeating the Sacramento Kings, allowing Shaquille O’Neal to win his third straight Finals MVP award and the Lakers to win their third consecutive title. Chris Webber, Peja Stojakovic, Mike Bibby, and Vlad Divac were all on the Sacramento Kings’ roster. The Kings would have been champions in 2002 if not for injuries, and Chris Webber would not have retired without a ring.
San Antonio Spurs, 2003
In 2003, Tim Duncan could have been the greatest player in the NBA, which would have meant the Spurs would have won without any injuries. Duncan was the only big man who could dominate both defensively and offensively, and Greg Popovich would have led this team to a championship regardless of the odds.
The Detroit Pistons won the NBA championship in 2004.
In 2004, the Detroit Pistons were on a mission. The Pistons would have defeated anybody in the NBA Finals, including the Lakers, if they had been led by Finals MVP Chauncey Billups and a group of tough-minded defensive players. The Detroit Pistons are often regarded as the most improbable NBA champions in history, yet the manner they guarded and played as a unit would have won them the championship even if no opponents were injured.
Miami Heat, 2005
Three-time Finals MVP Shaquille O’Neal was acquired by the Miami Heat, who paired him with rising phenom Dwyane Wade. The Heat, however, would not get a chance to win a championship until the following year. Shaquille O’Neal and Dwyane Wade would have been the greatest combination in the NBA en way to their first championship together if they hadn’t been sidelined by injury.
Miami Heat, 2006
By leading the Miami Heat to victory against the Dallas Mavericks in the 2006 NBA Finals, Dwyane Wade earned his first Finals MVP and title. The Dallas Mavericks had control of the series, but they couldn’t stop Dwyane Wade from putting on one of the greatest finals performances in NBA history. Even if Shaquille O’Neal had been healthy and there had been no injuries, the Heat would have likely defeated the Dallas Mavericks sooner.
San Antonio Spurs, 2007
In 2007, the San Antonio Spurs swept the Cleveland Cavaliers, as LeBron James was unable to cope with the Spurs’ Big Three. Even if LeBron James were the greatest player in the NBA, the Spurs were a much superior squad that was merciless in ripping the Cavaliers’ hearts out. Without the injuries, the Finals may have featured a different opponent, but Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili would have been impossible to stop.
Boston Celtics, 2008
The addition of Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen by the Boston Celtics was enough to win the team the title in 2008. The Celtics would have been champs all over again if none of their players had been injured. Even if the Lakers got another chance against the Celtics in 2008, Paul Pierce would have won the Finals MVP. The Celtics had their moment in 2008, and that will never change.
Los Angeles Lakers, 2009
One year later, in 2009, Kobe Bryant and the Lakers got their sweet vengeance. Kobe Bryant was unstoppable in his quest for his fourth NBA championship and first Finals MVP. The Orlando Magic had Dwight Howard, the Defensive Player of the Year, and a slew of three-point shooters. Unfortunately for the Magic, starting point guard Jameer Nelson, who had been playing like an All-Star all season, was unavailable. Nelson missed the opening three games of the Finals series, but even if he had been completely fit from Game 1, Kobe Bryant and the Lakers were unstoppable.
Los Angeles Lakers, 2010
In 2010, the Lakers and the Boston Celtics clashed once again. The Lakers won seven games in a row, and Kendrick Perkins’ injury definitely helped them dominate with their size down low. The Celtics would have been a lot harder team to defeat if Kendrick Perkins had been completely healthy. Even Kendrick Perkins can’t stop Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, and Kobe would have been a five-time champion even if Perkins hadn’t been injured.
Dallas Mavericks, 2011
By beating the superteam Miami Heat headed by LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh in the 2011 NBA Finals, the Dallas Mavericks pulled off the greatest shock in NBA Finals history. Looking back on the series, the Miami Heat were in perfect health and had no need to be concerned about their health. It was simply the Dallas Mavericks’ year, and Dirk Nowitzki would not be denied an NBA championship if the situation were to repeat again.
Miami Heat, 2012
With LeBron James leading the Miami Heat, the East has the most skilled squad. That meant that no team had a chance of preventing LeBron from winning his first NBA title, even if Dwyane Wade wasn’t 100%. The Heat would have swept the whole playoffs if Wade had been 100 percent. Whatever happened in 2012, LeBron James would be a champion.
Miami Heat, 2013
The Miami Heat, led by LeBron James, won their second NBA title a year later. Dwyane Wade was not himself, and the Heat could have swept the Finals if he had been healthy. Since the Golden State Warriors in 2017, the Miami Heat may be the most skilled team in NBA history, which means they would have been champs in 2013 regardless.
San Antonio Spurs, 2014
In 2014, the San Antonio Spurs avenged themselves by beating LeBron James and the Miami Heat. The Spurs still had Tim Duncan as their greatest defensive big man, Greg Popovich as their best coach, and Kawhi Leonard as a rising superstar. The Spurs dominated the Miami Heat in the Finals, blowing them away by a record margin. Even if Dwyane Wade were completely healthy, the Spurs would have defeated the Heat in a same manner.
Cleveland Cavaliers, 2015
LeBron James’ 2015 Finals series was perhaps the most disappointing of his career. In the finals, he lost both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love to injury, putting him at a significant disadvantage against the Golden State Warriors. Two years later, the Golden State Warriors added Kevin Durant to their roster, but they were still a dominating force. They would have won the title if LeBron had Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love in full health. LeBron James is the series’ top player, and he would have proven it if he had the right support.
Cleveland Cavaliers, 2016
One year later, LeBron James had Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love back to full health, and the outcome was favorable. Even with a 3-1 advantage, the Golden State Warriors were unable to halt Irving and LeBron as the series progressed. The 2016 NBA Finals included several memorable events, including LeBron James’ block and Kyrie Irving’s game-winning shot, indicating that the Cavaliers would have won the championship anyway.
Golden State Warriors, 2017
The Golden State Warriors are perhaps the most unstoppable Finals team ever. In 2017, Kevin Durant teamed up with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green to destroy the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Warriors were at full strength, and their lethal combination of Draymond Green at center and Andre Iguodala at power forward rendered them unbeatable.
Houston Rockets, 2018
By defeating the Golden State Warriors super squad, the Houston Rockets were on pace to do the unimaginable and fulfill perhaps the most improbable of scenarios. The Houston Rockets were up 3-2 with a chance to win Game 6 because to their quick offense led by James Harden and Chris Paul. The bad news was that Chris Paul would be sidelined for the remainder of the series, which meant the Rockets had little chance of beating the Warriors and therefore missing out on the NBA Championship. The Rockets would have won the 2018 NBA championship if Chris Paul had never been injured.
Golden State Warriors in 2019
The Golden State Warriors will undoubtedly be winners in 2019. If Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson are on the floor with Stephen Curry, the Toronto Raptors have little chance of winning the title. Because they lacked the overall skill of perhaps the greatest group of players in NBA history, Kawhi Leonard and his teammates were fortunate when Durant and claim missed the bulk of the NBA Finals.
Los Angeles Lakers, 2023
The Los Angeles Lakers would have been champions last year even if none of their opponents had been injured. When healthy, LeBron James and Anthony Davis are the greatest combination in the NBA and two of the top five players in the league. Even if Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic were healthy in the Finals, the combination of size and talent would be too much.
Brooklyn Nets in 2023
The Brooklyn Nets would have won the NBA Championship this year without a doubt if injuries hadn’t disrupted their season. Three of the top ten players in the NBA, Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving, are unstoppable. There’s no way any club can compete with them, particularly with players like Blake Griffin and Joe Harris on the roster. Due to injuries to Kyrie Irving and James Harden, Durant was forced to fend for himself, and they were unable to achieve their objective this year.
Hoop Colony deserves credit for the concept.
The who won nba finals 2023 is a question that many basketball fans might ask. If there were no playoff injuries, the Nets in 2023, Rockets in 2018 would be the last 20 NBA Champions.
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