On Feb. 1, there was zero doubt the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers would collide for the NBA championship once again this June. Then Kevin Love and Kevin Durant each suffered knee injuries, and now there's the slightest chance someone else might squeeze into the 2017 Finals.
With that in mind, we're taking a look at each Finals contender's biggest question headed into the final month of the season.
Toronto Raptors: Will "playing ugly" be the best way to knock off the Cavs?
We'll give the Raptors the benefit of the doubt with Kyle Lowry's health; if the All-Star point guard isn't healthy, then the rest of the season really doesn't matter in Toronto anyway.
Assuming that, Toronto has a brand new identity with Serge Ibaka and P.J. Tucker. The Raptors are going to punch you in the mouth over and over — metaphorically, that is — and try to beat you in an ugly brawl. They're the polar opposite of last year's Warriors team that failed to conquer the Cavaliers with finesse.
There's probably not enough talent north of the border to really threaten Cleveland, but here's hoping we get to find out in the playoffs.
Los Angeles Clippers: Is this the last hurrah?
Both Chris Paul and Blake Griffin can become free agents this offseason, and you have to wonder if they're sick of running it back with the same squad only to come up short every year. CP3 could head to New York to play with Carmelo Anthony, and Griffin could decide to take his talents to Oklahoma City to join forces with Russell Westbrook.
On the other hand, perhaps Kevin Durant's injury leaves the door open for the Clippers to surge to their first NBA Finals ever. Even a Western Conference finals appearance might be enough to keep the band together for one more year.
Washington Wizards: Are they really the second-best team in the Eastern Conference?
One of the hallmarks of a true championship contender is being a top-10 team in both offensive and defensive efficiency. The Celtics have a great offense ... and are 20th in defense. The Raptors have a great offense ... and are 19th in defense.
The Wizards, meanwhile, are 10th and 11th in those respective categories despite a ridiculously slow start to the season. The Washington squad we've seen since December could very well knock off both Boston and Toronto in the postseason before falling to the Cavs in the conference finals.
Or John Wall's team could flame out in the first round. Anything is possible in the East this season.
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San Antonio Spurs: Can Kawhi Leonard carry a team on his back to the Finals?
With all due respect to LaMarcus Aldridge, the Spurs depend entirely on The Klaw to lead them to the promised land. For now, he's only playing 33 minutes per game; come the playoffs, he'll be out there for at least 40 minutes a night.
Coach Gregg Popovich will put his team in the best position to defeat the mighty Golden State Goliath despite the overwhelming odds. If Leonard can take the next step as a bona fide superstar and prove he's a top-three player in the NBA, the Spurs will have a chance to shock the world.
Boston Celtics: Is Isaiah Thomas a weakness waiting to be exploited?
The Celtics point guard made a huge impact in Boston's victory against the Cavaliers on Wednesday, as he always does — but the Cavs weren't anywhere close to full strength.
In the postseason, a healthy Cleveland team will go right at Thomas on every possession until the Celtics prove they can stop anyone with their All-Star leader on the court. And according to ESPN.com, Boston surrenders 122.8 points per 100 possessions to the Cavs, Raptors and Wizards when Thomas plays.
There's no denying how awesome the two-time All-Star is on offense, and he's certainly a net-positive for the Cetlics. But in a seven-game series against the East's elite, Thomas might help prove Boston's undoing.
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Houston Rockets: Can you knock off a favorite by burying them in 3-pointers?
It took less than a season for the Rockets to become the perfect Mike D'Antoni team: a top-three offense with a league-average defense everyone thinks is much, much worse than that.
Still, Houston's not going to try to go toe-to-toe with the likes of the Warriors in the postseason. GM Daryl Morey admitted as much this week when he said his team will try to ride 3-point-shooting variance to an NBA Finals berth. When you're going to be a massive underdog either way, why not see if you can get red-hot from deep and beat Golden State at its own game?
Cleveland Cavaliers: How much does LeBron James have left in the tank?
He swears he'll be fine once the playoffs roll around, and maybe he's right. There are no back-to-backs in the postseason, after all. Yet if LeBron keeps trying to win games for the Cavs with Kevin Love and J.R. Smith on the sidelines, he might peter out just as the Finals roll around.
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Golden State Warriors: Will Kevin Durant be 100-percent healthy?
Before Tuesday night's catastrophe, we wondered which player would step up as the fifth in the Warriors' crunch-time lineups. That's been Golden State's biggest question all year, really.
Durant's knee injury changed all of that. He should be back in plenty of time to work his way back into the rotation and knock off any light rust he accumulated on the sidelines. The nightmare scenario for the Warriors, though, is Durant suffering another injury because he comes back too soon.
Without a healthy KD, the Warriors simply don't have the firepower to outgun the Cavaliers in a Finals rematch. That's the risk you take when you gut your depth to build a superteam.