We didn’t get the clash between the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Finals that many people expected, but might we have gotten the next-best thing?

According to Neil Payne of FiveThirtyEight.com, the Warriors taking on the Oklahoma City Thunder will still be pretty darn good. Per the site’s Elo Ratings, the matchup is the strongest in the playoffs since 1984. But you probably didn’t need the numbers to tell you that. When these teams met in the regular season, all three games went in favor of the Warriors, though each game was close.

None of the meetings were better than their Feb. 27 game, when eventual NBA MVP Stephen Curry hit a 32-foot, buzzer-beating three pointer in overtime to give the Warriors a 121-118 victory.

Golden State went on to break the NBA record with 73 wins in the regular season, and have lost just twice in the playoffs — despite Curry missing six games with injuries — as they embark on their quest to repeat as champions. Meanwhile, the Thunder are hitting their stride at the right time. With a dynamic offense led by Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City dismantled the Spurs over the final three games of their series in the conference semifinals to overcome a 2-1 deficit. With Durant facing free agency, this could be his last hurrah with the Thunder, who have made the postseason in six of the last seven seasons, but only advanced to the NBA Finals once when they lost to the Miami Heat in 2012.

The matchup of superstars alone is enough to get any basketball fan excited for this series, but the numbers show this could windup being one for the ages.

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