The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

STAFF PICKS: NBA finals winner

Daily Eastern News “Staff Picks”
Daily Eastern News “Staff Picks”

The Sports Staff share their thoughts about who they think will win the 2024 NBA finals.


Zaria Flippin (Head Sports Editor): Denver Nuggets

I think the Denver Nuggets will take the championship back to Denver for the second year in a row.

You cannot stop the pick and roll between Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokić, and that might be one of the best dynamic duos in the NBA right now.

Aaron Gordon is also a force to be reckoned with the way he’s been playing recently too and including Michael Porter Jr. and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in the mix makes a dangerous starting five.

There’s no stopping this team, and they truly have a very good chance at winning the NBA Championship for the second year in a row.


Luther Yoder (Assistant Sports Editor): Denver Nuggets

I believe that the Denver Nuggets are going to win the NBA Finals because they have one of the best players in the NBA in center Nikola Jokić.

This season Jokić averaged 26.4 points per game, nine assists per game and 12.4 rebounds per game. He is also doing this while shooting 58.3% from the field.

Jokić can do everything on the court, and I believe that he will elevate his play in the playoffs like he did last year.

The Nuggets also have guard Jamal Murray, who is a good second option to Jokić. This season Murray averaged 21.2 points per game, 4.1 rebounds per game and 6.5 points per game. He is also shooting 48.1% from the field.

The Nuggets have two good scoring options and such a well-rounded team that I don’t see anybody in the NBA beating them in a seven-game series.


Gabe Newman (Sports Reporter): Denver Nuggets

I have a gut feeling that the Denver Nuggets are going to go back-to-back.  Center Nikola Jokić is unstoppable, and it doesn’t even look like he gives it his all every night.

I could see a few teams make surprising, deep runs, particularly in the east, which in my opinion is wide open.

I’m very interested to see how the Thunder do as the one seed in the west, but out of all of the playoff teams, I don’t see anyone beating Denver four times out of seven games, and I think they will be crowned NBA champions again. 


Patrick Schmitz (Sports Reporter): Denver Nuggets

The Nuggets will be winning the 2024 NBA Championship. 

The Nuggets have the best basketball player in the world, center Nikola Jokić. They also have an all-around good team and will go back-to-back.

However, the unsung hero is my cousin. He is a ball boy for the Nuggets, and he makes sure that everyone during warmups has a ball to shoot. He is the real leader for the Nuggets. He does the work that is not shown on the stat sheets.

Also, the current best team in the league, Boston Celtics, will inevitably choke like every other year. Forward Jayson Tatum is so overrated, and the Celtics are overrated as a whole. However, with my cousin, Jokić and guard Jamal Murray that team will be unstoppable. 


Aidan Cusack (Sports Reporter): Dallas Mavericks

I am writing this to act as a lifeboat in the relentless sea of my colleague’s Denver Nuggets picks.  

Surrounded by the bashful waves of Nikola Jokić fawning, our lifeboat is rudderless, adrift in the torrent. Yet, there is some hope as a lighthouse illuminates the path forward.

This lighthouse is a guard named Luka Dončić. 

He will lead the Dallas Mavericks past the Los Angeles Clippers, and this time there will be no free chicken (shoutout to the Rocket’s center Boban Marjanović on Sunday night). Dončić is not a man of the people; he is tired of the MVP snubs. 

Dončić is in his villain arc. 

He will overcome the Clippers guard duo in Russell Westbrook and James Harden, he will tear up fellow Serbian countryman Jokić and he will humble whatever fodder the East throws at him in the finals. 

Dallas will parade by June, and it will be Dončić  they are celebrating. 

Putting my playoff fantasies aside, if you’re looking for a team to beat the Nuggets, why shouldn’t that team be Dallas?  With guard Kyrie Irving back somewhat healthy, this squad might have what it takes to be the David of Denver’s Goliath. 

Something to chew on. 


The Sports Staff can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].

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