Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue certainly didn't try to sugarcoat the challenge of playing against the Warriors, who counted 31 assists while turning the ball over just four times, scoring 93 points in three quarters before taking their foot off the gas in garbage time. The Cavaliers, who in 2016 ended a sports title drought the city of Cleveland had been living under since 1964, are aiming to repeat. It's the rubber match.
LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers are back in Oakland at the scene of their Game 7 victory last June to take on Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors in this year's highly anticipated NBA Finals. Never mind that the Cavaliers are the defending champions.
In 2015, Golden State won the series in six games, but Cleveland earned its revenge in 2016.
Cleveland has 12 turnovers, Golden State only one. That's right. Since March 14. National NBA writer Zach Lowe of ESPN penned a fine piece on just how important and selfless this rebounding, shot-blocking, screening big man is for the Cavs.
"We saw it with Luke (Walton) a year ago, too".
Cleveland went just 23-23 after January 10 and was ranked in the bottom third statistically on defense all season. James is under huge pressure to win it because he's LeBron, and every one of his successes and failures is magnified and dissected and placed in the grave context of "legacy".
Well, if James has made the Finals his permanent June address, Durant is the kind of houseguest who drinks your beer, takes your best steak and wears his shoes on the carpet.
Kevin Durant had a game-high 38 points and Curry scored 28, helping the Warriors record their 13th straight postseason win and grab the early edge in the best-of-seven series. We know we're capable of playing a lot better.
Hold on a minute, however. I don't see how the Cavs can win, but I thought that past year, too. This postseason, Love is averaging 17.2 points and 10.4 rebounds, personal bests with the Cavs. Through the first three rounds of the playoffs, the Chef is putting up 28.6 points per game, shooting 43.1% from beyond the arc, and has an incredible plus-minus rating of plus-215. Simply put, Golden State has been straight dominant. SI's Mitch Goldich is also here with some. more lukewarm takes on Cavs-Warriors III.
The Warriors also have a likely healthier Curry, their leading scorer. Durant is another ridiculous weapon.
And the Warriors can play better.
This is the best team the Cavs have add since LeBron returned. And he keeps on proving it.
"It's inevitable. Four great players like that, at the point-guard role, myself and Steph and then K.D. and Bron, obviously there will be a lot of attention paid to that", Irving said. He's shooting 56.5 percent from the field compared to 54.8. Love averaged 22.6 points points per game, pulled down 12.4 rebounds a night, and shot a ridiculous 53.5% from three-point range.
Kevin Durant backed McGee at the time in February, calling Shaq "childish" and criticizing his free throw shooting.
While the Warriors are making National Basketball Association history as they did past year, they know the feeling will be bittersweet without a title.
And if you thought the regular season was a snoozer, the National Basketball Association playoffs have been worse.
Pachulia passed up a chance at bigger money to have a chance for a title when he signed with Golden State last summer for $2.9 million.
"I happen to really like it, I enjoy watching it and I think it's going to be an incredible series between Cleveland and Golden State".
My pick: Cavaliers in six.